President Donald Trump is not only supportive of a potential buyout of TikTok by Oracle, reports indicate. He also believes the US should be "compensated" for making the buyout possible. That's based on comments made by Mr. Trump when asked about which company he believes should buy TikTok.
According to the president, both Microsoft and Oracle want TikTok. But, whoever buys the company, they have to ensure the US is "well compensated," Mr. Trump says. The president continued, clarifying that its the US Treasury that needs to be compensated for "making it possible."
The president also indicated his belief that Oracle is a great company and that its owner is "a tremendous" guy. Mr. Trump also suggested that Oracle is a company that could 'handle' the buyout of TikTok, reiterating that they have until September 15 to complete the purchase if they plan to do so.
Will Oracle move forward with a TikTok buyout?
Oracle owner Larry Ellison has previously reportedly been in talks with TikTok owners about an acquisition. But the company has not commented on the matter. The deal would purportedly include the app's operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The company has also supposedly been involving current investors in the talks. Specifically, that's venture capital firms Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, which already have a stake in ByteDance.
ByteDance is the brand for the Chinese equivalent app to TikTok and also the China-based owner of the app. Although operations in the US have largely relied on stateside servers and databases.
Neither ByteDance nor Oracle have confirmed the talks, as of this writing. ByteDance has reportedly commented to say that it can't comment on rumors or speculation and Oracle has issued a similar statement. Specifically, saying that "this is not something we can comment on."
It’s unclear how much Oracle is prepared to pay for TikTok but some of ByteDance’s investors value TikTok’s global business at $50 billion, according to Reuters.
It's also not immediately clear how much TikTok will be sold for. Microsoft is also reportedly looking to move on a potential buy of ByteDance's US operations. And at least some ByteDance investors are said to have valued the global business at $50 billion.
Microsoft is presently thought to be ahead in talks. But the purchase would deal would certainly net a lower price-tag than that regardless. Only the US and possibly other North American markets are potentially up for grabs.
Why the extra support?
President Trump's statements in support of Oracle buying TikTok aren't necessarily surprising. Mr. Ellison has been a vocal public proponent of President Trump. And the Oracle owner has held fundraisers for the incumbent president at his estate, including at least one recently.
The sale also makes sense from a practical standpoint, although the company doesn't seem like the most natural fit. Even according to the experts questioned by the source. Particularly since Oracle, like other tech giants is looking to branch out into new industries. TikTok recently entered talks with UnitedMasters, a company bent on shaking up the way the music industry interacts with artists.
That deal could see the platform shift significantly. By buying in, Oracle would have its hands on not just one of the most popular short-form video sharing and social site and apps. But also potentially a significant player in the music industry, if that deal goes through.
China has been adamant that the forced sale is a "smash-and-grab," with the country vowing to stop the "theft." But the US has largely ignored that claim.