TikTok to be sold: Bobby Kotick mulls acquisition

If bill gets approved, ByteDance would then either face a nationwide TikTok ban in the US, or divest from TikTok
An undated image displaying TikTok on a mobile screen. — Pixabay
An undated image displaying TikTok on a mobile screen. — Pixabay

As the destiny of TikTok hangs in the balance in the US, Bobby Kotick, former Activision CEO is mulling to acquire the Chinese-owned short video platform, as reported by Wall Street Journal. 

Who's buying TikTok?

As per the WSJ report, Kotick considered the buyout during a dinner at an Allen & Co. conference he attended this week. In the conference, he was accompanied by potential partners, including Sam Altman, the brain behind OpenAI. 

After reeling through challenging times — including the company's merger with Microsoft and a lawsuit lodged by Activision employees alleging him of committing unlawful harassment, discrimination, and retaliation — Kotick resigned from Activision in December last year after diligently giving 30 years of his life to the gaming firm. 

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Since the wealth in his possession is insignificant to consider purchasing TikTok, the former Activision CEO must also pay heed to join hands with wealthy partners.

The ByteDance-owned app was brought into the tribunal for violating content regulations defined under the Digital Markets Act (DMA), a new law imposed in the EU to keep a check on big tech companies, as noted by PC Mag.

While the lawsuit was proceeded by the US House panel representatives last week, it is now due to be voted on by both, the Senate and the US House of Representatives.

If the bill gets approved by both entities, ByteDance would then have two options to go with, either to face a nationwide TikTok ban in the US, or divest from the social media platform in 165 days (5 months).

In case the ban gets implemented, the lawsuit, dubbed as Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act, would ban ByteDance-owned sites and apps and would grant the president the authority to ban the company's other services in the future if they appear to be a threat to "national security."

Lawmakers' primary concern with the platform is that it might share US-based TikTok users' data with the Chinese government and manipulate Americans in terms of their political inclination.

The bill passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee this week unanimously, 50-0. While discussion of banning the app has circulated for years, the bill surprised ByteDance. The bill heads to the full House for a vote Wednesday, where if passed it will move on to the Senate.