Former Activision CEO Bobby Kotick Eyes TikTok Acquisition Amid ByteDance Inquiry

By Quincy Cahilig

Mar 11, 2024 05:00 PM EDT

Bobby Kotick, former Activision CEO, wants to acquire TikTok if ByteDance, which is under US government inquiry, sells it. The proposed acquisition comes amid concerns about ByteDance and the Chinese government exchanging data, triggering US restrictions or forced sales.

A measure supporting similar policies cleared the House Energy and Commerce Committee 50-0 and awaits a House vote. US President Joe Biden earlier declared that once the TikTok ban measure passes both chambers of US Congress, he will sign it into law ordering China's ByteDance to divest from TikTok. 

The former Activision Blizzard top executives reportedly have expressed interest in buying TikTok to ByteDance co-founder Zhang Yiming. The transaction is projected to cost hundreds of billions. 

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, leaves lunch during the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference on July 13, 2023 in Sun Valley, Idaho. (Photo : Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Kotick plans to form a coalition to manage TikTok's difficult purchase procedure with significant financial resources. Multiple partners are needed due to the social media giant's stated asking price. Kotick, who departed Activision Blizzard after Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition, is apparently interested in partnering with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, according to Forbes.

Considering the grave controversy he faced during his CEO tenure in Activision, Bobby Kotick is an unforeseen choice to purchase TikTok. The company and the California Civil Rights Department settled for $54 million in 2023 after over 500 misconduct allegations spurred protests and calls for Kotick's resignation in 2021, per Gizmodo.

Read Also: Bitcoin Reaches New All-Time High, Surpassing $71,000! 

Security Risks v. Elections Interests

U.S. lawmakers have continuously raised concerns about TikTok's national security risks, including Chinese government espionage and public opinion manipulation. TikTok strongly disputes such charges, stating that the company would never share U.S. user data with China. However, the U.S. Senate debates over "free speech" might derail TikTok's legislation. Banning TikTok also raises political concerns, especially given the importance of the younger vote in approaching elections.  

Former U.S. President Donald Trump believes that imposing a TikTok ban would strengthen Meta's Facebook platform, which he called an "enemy of the people," as reported by VC Post.

Trump, poised for another Republican presidential nomination win, acknowledged the popularity of TikTok among young people and said that many teenage TikTok users "will go crazy without it."

Alleging national security concerns, the Donald Trump administration attempted to remove TikTok from U.S. app stores in 2020. Trump ordered TikTok's parent company, ByteDance, to divest within 90 days. However, Microsoft failed to buy TikTok's U.S. unit.

Read Next: Reddit IPO: Social Media Platform Seeking $748 Million in Highly Anticipated Stock Launch 

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics