Oracle Corp.’s bid for the U.S. operations of TikTok received the backing of U.S. President Donald Trump, bolstering the software maker’s attempt to derail takeover talks led by rival Microsoft Corp.
“Oracle is a great company,” said Trump during a speech in Arizona on Tuesday. “I think its owner is a tremendous guy. He’s a tremendous person. I think that Oracle would be certainly somebody that could handle it.”
Oracle has strong ties to Trump, at a time when Silicon Valley is under scrutiny from both sides of the U.S. political divide. Co-founder Larry Ellison hosted a fundraiser for Trump in February, and Oracle Chief Executive Officer Safra Catz also supports Trump’s re-election effort. The company even teamed up with the White House earlier this year in an attempt to track the effects of using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19
Microsoft has been seen as the front-runner in the race to acquire TikTok’s U.S. assets, and is the only company to publicly confirm talks with the social media service’s Chinese parent company ByteDance Ltd. Oracle has approached investors including Sequoia Capital to partner on a bid for TikTok’s business in the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg this week.
Oracle’s entry could also increase the price for TikTok’s assets. Trump has previously demanded that the U.S. government get a cut of the deal. While atypical, he has the authority under the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S.’s rules to impose monetary conditions, one person said.
“I guess Microsoft wants it and so does Oracle, and probably so do other people,” said Trump in his comments on Tuesday. “But they have to also make sure the United States is well compensated because we’re the ones making it possible. Very simple: We’re the ones making it possible. So our Treasury has to be very well compensated.”