Microsoft’s bid for TikTok surprised us all, because it is hard to think of a more unsuitable match for an exciting up and coming social media company than staid Microsoft.
Today Oracle proved that we just did not have enough imagination by reportedly themselves entering the race for the dance craze company.
The Financial Times reports that Oracle is in talks with ByteDance, TikTok’s owners, and was looking to purchase the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations of the company in partnership with existing US-based investors such as General Atlantic and Sequoia Capital.
This would be in opposition to Microsoft’s bid, which is reportedly more comprehensive and which would include India and Europe.
Oracle’s offer is reportedly more credible than that of Twitter, which has much less cash on hand and which would need outside investors.
Oracle’s motivations are less clear, with some suggesting it may be personal, with Oracle CEO Lary Ellison an outspoken supporter of President Trump. It is unclear if this support is mutual.
With Microsoft worth around 10 times more than Oracle, it is hard to see Oracle’s move as more than simply pushing up the bidding price, but I believe this may be Microsoft’s golden opportunity to pass the poison chalice to some-one else, even before they take a sip.
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