The deal to sell TikTok’s U.S. operations could be announced “in the coming days,” and both Oracle and Microsoft are still in the running, CNBC reported.
The deal is valued at US$20 billion to US$30 billion, and also includes the Canada, Australia and New Zealand operations for the popular social media app, according to the report.
Both Microsoft and Oracle have been in talks with China-based ByteDance, the owner of TikTok, to acquire the service amid U.S. government scrutiny of TikTok. The Trump Administration worries that the app could be used by the Chinese government to acquire data on Americans.
Walmart confirmed that it has joined forces with Microsoft’s bid. In a statement provided to outlets including CRN, the retailer cited “the way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets.”
The “potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality,” Walmart said in the statement.
In a sign of the deal’s imminence, TikTok disclosed Thursday that CEO Kevin Mayer is stepping down.
Meanwhile, The Wrap reported that Oracle is the front-runner for the TikTok acquisition, saying that the tech giant has offered US$10 billion of its own stock along with US$10 billion in cash and a pledge to provide 50 percent of TikTok profits to ByteDance. The outlet reported that U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin approves of Oracle’s bid.
Larry Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder and chief technology officer, is a friend and supporter of President Donald Trump, who has called for a ban on TikTok unless it divested its U.S. operations.
Oracle, TikTok and Microsoft declined to comment Thursday.
TikTok features short videos posted by users and has emerged as a hugely popular social app in the U.S. in recent years, particularly among younger users.