Retail giant, Walmart joins Microsoft to bid for TikTok

Walmart said it’s teaming up with Microsoft in a bid for TikTok.

The retail giant confirmed to CNBC that it’s interested in buying the tech company.

Walmart shares are up more than 3% on the news.

TikTok is nearing an agreement to sell its U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand operations in a deal that’s likely to be in the $20 billion to $30 billion range, sources say. It has not yet chosen a buyer, but an announcement is expected in coming days, sources say.

With Walmart’s confirmation, it joins several others bidding on the tech company, including Oracle.

Walmart is pursuing the acquisition at a time when it’s trying to better compete with Amazon. It’s planning to launch a membership program, called Walmart+, soon. The subscription-based service is the retailer’s answer to Amazon Prime, which includes original TV shows and movies.

In a statement, the big-box retailer said TikTok’s integration of e-commerce and advertising “is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets.” It did not say how it would use TikTok or whether it would be part of Walmart+.

“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US 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,” it said. “We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”

Walmart has worked with Microsoft before. Two years ago, Walmart announced a five-year cloud deal with Microsoft that involved the retailer adopting Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure and a bundle that includes the Office 365 productivity applications.

CNBC’s Alex Sherman and Jordan Novet contributed to this story.


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