Microsoft, Oracle Race to the Finish to Acquire TikTok

Posted on August 27, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Cloud, Microsoft, Social with 24 Comments

According to dueling reports, Microsoft and Oracle are both front-runners in the battle to wrest control of TikTok away from its evil Chinese overlords. Cough.

But here’s one fact everyone seems to agree on: The “winner” of the TikTok Sweepstakes ™ will be announced as soon as this week—but probably next week—and will pay upwards of $20 billion to acquire a firm no sane person would want.

According to The Wrap, whatever that is, Oracle is the front-runner and has bid $20 billion—$10 billion in cash plus $10 billion in Oracle stock—to acquire TikTok and it will return 50 percent of its annual profits back to ByteDance, its China-based parent company, for two years.

CNBC disagrees. According to that publication, Microsoft is now partnering with Walmart to buy TikTok for somewhere between $20 billion and $30 billion. And the retail giant has confirmed its participation. Walmart, perhaps notably, recently adopted Microsoft’s Azure and Microsoft 365 solutions.

“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok 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,” Walmart told CNBC.  “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”

This is unfortunate.

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Comments (26)

26 responses to “Microsoft, Oracle Race to the Finish to Acquire TikTok”

  1. simont

    TikTok signed a contract for $800 Million for 3 years worth of Google Cloud last year. Not sure how they would get out of it or if they have to pay the entire thing before moving to Azure or Oracle Cloud.

  2. ernie

    In my opinion, the "winner" - the company who ends up getting Tic-Toc - of this 'competition' loses because they are then in-bed with China, or at least with a Chinese controlled company. As an earlier poster pointed out, the young engage in fads that usually last about three to six months. Who will still want Tic-Toc this time next year, what will it be worth, and will it still exist are arguably good questions when cast against an investment of over 20 billion dollars. My2Cents, Ernie

  3. bluvg

    In reply to RM:

    I also don't have a clue what Oracle would do with it, other than simply let it exist on its own ("minus China"). I think it's a terrible idea for either company, but I think Oracle has less to lose. It makes even less sense to me for Microsoft to buy it with their checkered consumer market history (I'm not saying they've had zero success, just lots of notable failures), and even less now that Walmart is in the mix (another for them).

  4. curtisspendlove

    To be honest and serious I think they’d make *way* more money continuing to invest in the developer toolchains.

    For instance, buying Docker properties would be *way* more beneficial I would think. Maybe I’m thinking far too narrowly here but they started winning some developers back with how they’ve managed GitHub, and the stuff with WSL etc.

    They could do some awesome stuff with Docker.

    (Note: this is also a selfish request. I love Docker and would like to see some stable money behind it.)

  5. LT1 Z51

    What I still don't get... What's with the stupid 1970's looking font on the logo. Is that supposed to be cool? The way it looks fuzzy like a really crappy tube TV.

  6. curtisspendlove

    Unlikely Prediction:

    Oracle wins bid.

    TikTok remains a huge success in the consumer space.

    Oracle does everything right and gains trillions in revenue.

    Heads all over the world pop due to chronic disbelief.

    China laughs.

    Samuel L Jackson whispers a single word:


  7. olditpro2000

    Let Oracle have it, then watch them kill it with their licensing model. Actually, maybe that's their real plan.

  8. yaddamaster

    China is indeed evil. And Microsoft should absolutely let Oracle win this race to the bottom.

    My kids have already moved on from TikTok. When will these companies understand that the attention span of the "yutes" is about three months?

  9. christianwilson

    "Microsoft is now partnering with Walmart to buy TikTok "


    Wait. What the hell? That's not a joke?

  10. bluvg


    I just can't imagine what either sees in owning TikTok, and their explanations seem about as relevant as one of Microsoft's reasons for the Zune branding (we can make puns on it, such as "Coming Zune"). This would be a double stain on Microsft's record: both for how it acquired it (regardless of initial intentions, which almost no one remembers), and how it will leave TikTok Kin'd/Nokia'd.

    Oracle has arguably a much better track record than Microsoft with acquisitions, and probably no one will care about the acquisition fiasco in their case.

  11. stevek

    Never thought I'd be cheering for Oracle to win something.

  12. kshsystems

    How sad...

    what possible value would TikTok have to Microsoft?

  13. brettscoast

    I still find it hard too see why Microsoft want's any part of this. Apart from the regulatory nightmare ahead tricky partnerships such as this one is like stepping into a hidden minefield hoping nothing goes off. Let Oracle have it, seriously.

  14. canamrotax

    10 billion here, 10 billion there, pretty soon you're talking real money...

  15. t-b.c

    In reply to BrianEricFord: Ya, because Nazi Germany was great except for all the Nazi's. I understand your point but its a bit naïve. We're not talking about North Korea where the people cannot leave; China may exert a lot of control but the people could immigrate to other countries. At least the rich population could. But they don't because there is too much profit in using the -- for all intents and purposes -- slave labor. It's not just the government oppressing the people, its people oppressing the people. So yes, China is pretty much evil.

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