Microsoft plans to finish its acquisition talks with TikTok within the next three weeks, ahead of a Sept. 15 deadline, CNBC reported. Estimates on how much the deal would actually amount to range widely — from $10 billion all the way to $30 billion.
Talks between Microsoft and ByteDance resumed after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talked with President Trump, who had previously brought the talks to an end by saying he opposed the deal. The president has said that ByteDance’s TikTok app is used to spy on Americans by collecting data and giving it to the Chinese government.
Trump has threatened to ban TikTok in the U.S. by Sept. 15 if it isn’t sold to a U.S. company.
As part of the resumption of talks, Microsoft pledged to ensure such things as having the private data of TikTok’s American users transferred to and, afterwards, remain in the U.S. Also, Microsoft said that whatever data stored outside the U.S. would be deleted from servers.
CNBC reported that very few U.S. companies have the wherewithal to transfer large amounts of data over to its own systems within a year. This would include 15 million lines of artificial intelligence. Microsoft does have the capacity — and it has the cash to pony up for the TikTok deal.
That makes Microsoft a strong contender to buy the popular video-sharing app.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is “deeply involved” in the situation, CNBC said.
Concerns abound over how Trump’s actions against TikTok may affect U.S. companies. At the same time, tensions between the two countries are rising both in terms of economic competition and superpower struggles.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which probes such things as international mergers and acquisitions, has launched a TikTok investigation. The interagency committee plans to look at how the app collects, stores and uses data.