Trump Wants Microsoft to Pay Treasury for Facilitating TikTok Deal
On Monday, President Donald Trump stated that Microsoft should pay the US treasury for facilitating its deal for TikTok, according to CNBC.
“I think buying 30% is complicated, and I suggested that he can go ahead, he can try,” Trump said, referencing his conversation with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. On Sunday, Microsoft confirmed that it was looking to purchase TikTok's operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. A deal with Microsoft could help alleviate the US government's concern that China controls the app.
President Trump also believes that the deal would cost more than expected, north of $50 billion, and part of the final amount should go to the US Treasury Department for making the deal possible. “It’s a little bit like the landlord/tenant; without a lease the tenant has nothing, so they pay what’s called ‘key money,’ or they pay something,” Trump said. “But the United States should be reimbursed or should be paid a substantial amount of money, because without the United States they don’t have anything, at least having to do with the 30%.”
The app is scheduled to be banned in the US if it's not sold by September 15. Microsoft has confirmed that it plans to finish negotiations with TikTok parent company ByteDance prior to that date.
“We believe from a management and board perspective this is a unique deal of a decade opportunity with a price tag that could easily be consummated,” Wedbush analysts said on Monday. According to the company's most recent quarterly earnings report, it has $136.53 billion in cash, equivalents, and short-term investments.
Microsoft shares surged on Monday following the news but were down Tuesday.