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Twitter In Preliminary Talks To Buy TikTok's U.S. Operations : Report

Twitter has had preliminary talks with TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance to buy the U.S. operations of the video-sharing app, the Wall Street Journal reported citing people familiar with the matter. Meanwhile, Microsoft has been the only company so far to say publicly it is pursuing TikTok.

It is unclear whether Twitter will pursue a deal with TikTok, which would face significant challenges, Journal also reported.

The biggest challenge to any deal is the Trump administration's executive order from August 6th. The executive order bars ByteDance from handling transactions in the US. The order takes effect within 45 days. The administration considers the Chinese-owned app a potential security threat to the U.S.

The Journal said that Twitter would be considered a long-shot in a bid for TikTok, with Microsoft the likely front runner in any deal.

Twitter is much smaller than Microsoft, and the social platform could be likely to face less antitrust scrutiny than Microsoft. But Twitter also doesn't have as much money as the software giant for a possible purchase, the report said.

Last Sunday, Microsoft said that it was prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States. Other American investors could participate in the potential acquisition on a minority basis.

Microsoft had said it would keep working with the U.S. Government on a deal and it planned to conclude talks with TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, by 15th September.

The purchase would cover TikTok service in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and would result in Microsoft owning and operating TikTok in those markets.

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