Axios morning email thingie tells us that the people who brought us Clippy are definitely trying to buy TikTok:
President Trump gave Microsoft 45 days to negotiate an acquisition of TikTok, following a Sunday conversation with CEO Satya Nadella, Reuters scoops.
- Why it matters: In the short run, 100 million U.S. users won’t lose access to the service. Trump had said Friday night that he planned to ban the Beijing-based app.
¡100 MILLION! That’s like ⅓ of the country, practically. “I don’t thank so, but I digest.”
Microsoft said in a statement disclosing the call with Trump:
Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury.
OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp’s potential acquisition of short-video app TikTok carries myriad risks, thrusting it into the politically fraught social media business and Sino-U.S. conflict amid increased scrutiny of big-tech companies.
But the deal could help Microsoft build on its $27 billion purchase of LinkedIn to become a bigger player in internet advertising now dominated by Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google.
So if MS bought TikTok it would be to shore-up LinkedIn? Get the Yutes of Today to counter-balance the Olds?
TikTok has taken teenagers around the world by storm and emerged as a significant competitor to Facebook and Google’s YouTube. But like rivals, TikTok faces substantial new costs for content moderation as the spread of misinformation and allegations of political bias roil social media…
“Does Microsoft really want to own an app that breeds conspiracy theories in tweens?” said Hank Green, YouTube star and chief executive of educational media company Complexly. He said TikTok removes content to maintain “a certain feel”, and could face public challenges over such decisions more often under a bigger name such as Microsoft.
I do not see how this ends well. MS couldn’t make and sell a music player, I just don’t see them ever having any sort of successful non-business products.
UPDATE 1: “President Trump gave the go-ahead for Microsoft to pursue an acquisition of TikTok, in his first public comments about the popular Chinese-owned video app after he had threatened to ban it from the United States entirely,” the New York Times reports.
“[Prznint Stupid] added that the U.S. Treasury Department would need to receive a lot of money in return for the deal, without explaining how that would work.”
Prznint McGrifter wants a cut of the action.