By Georgia Wells and Cara Lombardo
Twitter Inc. has had preliminary talks about a potential combination with TikTok, the popular video-sharing app that the Trump administration has declared a national-security threat due to its Chinese ownership, according to people familiar with the matter.
It is unclear whether Twitter will pursue a deal with TikTok, which would face significant challenges. A deal would involve TikTok’s U.S. operations, the people said.
Microsoft Corp. /zigman2/quotes/207732364/composite MSFT +0.55% has been negotiating for weeks with TikTok’s owner, Beijing-based ByteDance Ltd., and is considered the front-runner for any possible deal, according to the people. Twitter /zigman2/quotes/203180645/composite TWTR -1.71% is seen as a long-shot bidder, given that it is much smaller than Microsoft and would have a harder time paying for the deal — and the software giant is further advanced in negotiations.
Microsoft said on Aug. 2 that it was pursuing a deal, and that Chief Executive Satya Nadella had discussed the issue with President Trump. Microsoft said it was negotiating for TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
MarketWatch First Take: No, Trump has no right to demand money from a Microsoft-TikTok deal
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