Walmart is the latest to jump into the fast-moving bidding war for TikTok, as the retailing giant said Thursday that it is partnering with Microsoft on a deal to acquire the app.
As first reported by CNBC, Walmart said it believes TikTok’s integration of e-commerce and advertising in the popular video-sharing app would be a valuable fit for its business.
“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok U.S. 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 said in a statement.
The Bentonville, Ark.-based company added, “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of U.S. TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”
The other leading suitor for TikTok is Oracle, led by pro-Trump chairman Larry Ellison. A sale of the app by parent company ByteDance would encompass TikTok’s U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations.
The latest development for TikTok comes after CEO Kevin Mayer said Wednesday that he would resign, a little over three months after leaving Disney. His exit, signaling that a sale of TikTok is inevitable, comes after the Trump administration ordered Chinese internet giant ByteDance to sell the TikTok app business in the U.S., citing national-security fears, no later than Nov. 12.
Microsoft previously said it expected to conclude acquisition talks with ByteDance for TikTok by Sept. 15.
The pairing of Microsoft and Walmart “is the final piece of the puzzle that ultimately cements Microsoft successfully acquiring TikTok’s U.S. operations for likely $35 billion to $40 billion,” Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said.
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