Steve Ballmer, microsoft’s former ceo, said today that the company’s pursuit of TikTok was “exciting”. At the same time, Microsoft has the ability to deal with any regulatory issues that come with it. Microsoft confirmed in a blog post on Sunday that it had held talks with Byte Dance, the parent company of The short-video app TikTok, to acquire TikTok’s businesses in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
On Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he opposed the potential deal. But Microsoft said in a blog post Sunday that its CEO, Satya Nadella, spoke with Mr. Trump and plans to complete takeover talks by September 15.
In response, Mr Ballmer told the media today: “I think this is an exciting proposal for Microsoft. Obviously, it depends on the price. Price is important, and government restrictions are important. Anyway, I think it’s an exciting way for Microsoft to really expand its consumer base. “
Mr Ballmer remains Microsoft’s largest shareholder. Microsoft shares rose more than 2 per cent in premarket trading today. Although Microsoft has left its mark on corporate products in recent years, Mr. Ballmer recalls that Microsoft’s foundation is still a consumer-oriented business.
“Consumer businesses have both successes and failures, and I think it’s important to remember that you have to keep trying new things to build new businesses,” Ballmer said. “
In recent years, Microsoft has faced far less criticism than its peers on antitrust and data protection. But analysts say the potential deal to buy TikTok could reignite regulatory scrutiny of Microsoft.
Based on his own experience in microsoft’s U.S. antitrust case, Mr Ballmer said Microsoft would be prepared for any scrutiny that might come with the acquisition of TikTok.
“Even in corporate business, there is always a question of national sovereignty. For example, where do you store your data. It’s going to be a continuation of a theme, and I think Microsoft has a real understanding of the subject, which stems from a history and a record of having to work with the government (antitrust case) and understanding that government is part of everything. “