TikTok to announce bid winner today as China looks on

A TikTok deal may reportedly be announced as soon as tomorrow (today) as the video-sharing app has selected a winning bidder for its U.S., New Zealand and Australian operations, sources told CNBC.

Last week, Walmart (WMT) teamed up with Microsoft (MSFT) on a TikTok deal as the Trump administration pressures the app to sell its U.S. operations, while Oracle (ORCL) was readying a competing offer.

An announcement of the winning bid would come days after the Chinese government added artificial intelligence technology used by TikTok to its export-control list, meaning Beijing would have to approve any deal. Chinese parent company ByteDance said it would comply with the requirement.

Analysts expect a TikTok deal potentially worth $35 billion-$40 billion, while CNBC reported it could come in at $20 billion-$30 billion. Oracle’s rival offer is about $20 billion, according to the Wrap.

Other indicators have pointed to a TikTok deal being imminent. On Wednesday, TikTok announced CEO Kevin Mayer is quitting, just months after leaving Disney (DIS), with reports saying he wasn’t part of talks on a sale.

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Microsoft, Walmart Fall On TikTok Deal News
Shares of Microsoft closed down 1.4% and Walmart fell 1% on the stock market today, paring earlier losses caused by China’s export-control move. Oracle lost 1.1%.

Walmart earlier was working with Japan’s SoftBank on a TikTok deal. A partnership with Microsoft could give it the technology “backbone” partner that the U.S. is said to require.

The retail giant confirmed last week that it’s interested in participating in a TikTok deal, noting “the way TikTok has integrated e-commerce and advertising capabilities in other markets is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets. We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality.”

Microsoft also has a stake in Walmart-owned Flipkart, Amazon’s chief rival in India’s booming e-commerce market.

Wedbush analyst Dan Ives said last week the Walmart tie-up “likely seals the deal” for Microsoft. According to earlier reports, Oracle was in the lead for a TikTok deal, after President Donald Trump supported its bid.

“With other FAANG tech stalwarts currently up to their eyeballs in regulatory swirls, Redmond (not Oracle) is the only US technology stalwart with the treasure chest, infrastructure and distribution to get a deal like this done in our opinion,” Ives said.

The analyst estimated the deal could be worth $35 billion to $40 billion.

“We believe Microsoft buying TikTok would be like Christmas morning coming early for investors,” he wrote.

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