Bloomberg News reports:
Oracle Corp. edged out rival Microsoft Corp. in negotiations for the U.S. operations of TikTok, people familiar with the talks said, as the Chinese-owned music-video app attempts to avoid getting shut down in a clash between the world’s two superpowers.
Oracle has nurtured a relationship with Trump since before his administration began. In 2016, Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz served on the president’s transition team, and two years later, dined with him at the White House, where she complained about a government contract she deemed unfair, Bloomberg reported.
Vice President Mike Pence visited Oracle’s headquarters in Redwood City, California. Catz has contributed more than $125,000 this year to support Trump’s re-election, according to Federal Election Commission data. And Ellison let Trump use one of his California estates to hold a fund-raiser in February.
Ars Technica reports:
The deal will not be an outright sale. Instead, Oracle will become ByteDance’s US “tech partner.” The details of the transaction aren’t yet public but they will soon be submitted to US regulators for their approval. Rumors have suggested that Chinese officials might prefer to see TikTok shut down than to create a precedent for foreign governments to seize control of Chinese technology platforms.
But efforts to mollify the Chinese government could easily sour US regulators on any deal. And if the Trump administration rejects ByteDance’s proposed deal, there’s a significant chance that TikTok will get shut down and ByteDance will get nothing. So if ByteDance believed Larry Ellison could use his personal relationship to Trump to get the deal approved, that would have been a compelling reason to choose Oracle.
As @mashagessen describes in “Surviving Autocracy”, a Mafia State is run by one man distributing money and power to his followers. This TikTok heist for Trump’s one big supporter in Silicon Valley has to make even Orbán jealous.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) September 14, 2020
Everything about this stinks. Some backstory: https://t.co/1S1Sv2FHQl
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) September 13, 2020
Oracle winning TikTok — a company with no experience with consumer assets and with close ties to Trump — would continue to raise questions about the process. Trump forces a sale/deal that would likely enrich his fundraisers and allies and may result in some sort of “finder’s fee” pic.twitter.com/9IcB7E8iNw
— Hamza Shaban (@hshaban) September 14, 2020