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Trump TikTok ban saga gets stranger with unlikely partner Walmart joining Microsoft bid


Microsoft originally emerged as the front runner looking to acquire TikTok before the Trump administration ban goes into effect (now November). Other companies like Google and Apple were rumored to have shown interest as well but now in a surprising turn of events, Walmart has announced that it is working with Microsoft on the acquisition.

Walmart shared the following statement with CNBC today:

The way Tik Tok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets,” the retailer said in a statement. “We believe a potential relationship with Tik Tok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses. We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US Tik Tok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.

Microsoft was originally looking into buying just TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. However, the company reportedly started looking into buying the entire business after a suggestion from President Trump.

But with today’s statement from Walmart, it appears Microsoft and the retail giant will be refocusing back on acquiring just the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand TikTok operations. CNBC sources are citing a $20-$30 billion price range.

Interestingly enough, Oracle also surfaced recently as another party said to be preparing a serious bid for TikTok. That’s expected to be worth $20 billion and could be the preferred choice at the moment according to a report from Protocol.

While TikTok parent company ByteDance has challenged the Trump ban in court, CNBC sources say that it could announce a deal to sell off its US operations in the “coming days” but that it hasn’t made a final decision yet.

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