The purchase of TikTok marks another change of face for Microsoft, reshaping the company’s future and transforming itself into a consumer-oriented business in terms of acquisitions, forbes said in an article published today. This article combines the views of other analysts.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke by phone with the White House to discuss the purchase of the social media platform TikTok, days after major rivals attended a congressional hearing over their dominance in online advertising. The deal could reshape Microsoft’s future into a consumer-oriented business.
A possible deal for TikTok, estimated to cost about $40bn, would be the highest and most risky in a series of Microsoft acquisitions since Nadella took over. Mr Nadella has changed Microsoft’s image as a “failed” acquisition, which has focused on corporate sectors such as LinkedIn and GitHub. By buying TikTok, Nadella turned her attention to online advertising.
“The online advertising market is quite large, largely dominated by Google, Amazon and Facebook,” said Jai Das, co-founder and managing director of Sapphire Ventures, a venture capital firm. Acquiring part of TikTok would be a way for Microsoft to enter the market. “
On Monday, local time, Microsoft was given the green light from the White House to buy TikTok’s U.S. business. The White House has been pressing Byte Dance to force down TikTok’s U.S. operations on national security grounds. TikTok has more than 100 million registered users.
Microsoft said in a blog post Sunday that it will close the deal by September 15, which also includes TikTok’s operations in Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and will invite other U.S. investors to participate. Microsoft said it would move all TikTok data to servers in the U.S. and remove data stored on servers outside the U.S. to address privacy concerns.
Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s former chief executive and chief shareholder, appeared to be in good spirits, the Observer reported. He told US media that Microsoft’s pursuit of TikTok was “exciting” and that the company was ready to deal with any regulatory issues that might come with it. Mr Ballmer also said bluntly, “Obviously, it depends on the price.” “
Microsoft’s purchase of TikTok, considered by some observers to be commercially significant, is also recognized by investors. Microsoft shares rose $11.53, or 5.62 percent, to close at $216.54 in regular trading Monday, up about $87 billion from the rumored BuyTik Tok purchase price.
The acquisition of TikTok, Microsoft seizes the best opportunity for young people.
While Microsoft’s recent successes have largely been tied to cloud computing, servers and office software, it cannot afford to lose its consumer business, which can also generate considerable revenue and profits. Currently, Microsoft products that appeal to younger users are games, including Xbox and PC gaming products, which are popular with almost all young users through smartphones, Apple and Google. In addition, more and more schools are choosing to replace Windows laptops with Apple’s iPad and Google Chromebook as teaching aids.
Microsoft needs to take every opportunity to make its products more attractive to younger users to ensure the future viability of its consumer business, and the acquisition of social media start-ups like TikTok, which has hundreds of millions of users, is clearly the best opportunity.
Brent Till, an analyst at Jefferies, an investment firm, expects Microsoft to integrate TikTok into the Xbox gaming platform, allowing users of both platforms to “flow” to each other.
Before Mr Nadella’s arrival, Microsoft had made several big acquisitions in the consumer sector, including the $8.5bn acquisition of Skype in 2011 and the $7.6bn acquisition of Nokia’s handset business in 2013, but with little effect. Microsoft’s Bing platform has also been in the underlying competition with Google’s search engine.
After Nadella was appointed CEO in 2014, Microsoft changed course, giving priority to corporate-oriented assets. Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion in 2016 and GitHub for $7.5 billion in 2017, both of which are believed to help microsoft cloud service Azure attract more users.
Microsoft may use TikTok to become the fourth-largest U.S. online advertising company.
TikTok could be part of Microsoft’s consumer business camp, a new challenge for Nadella. Soma Somasegar, managing director of Madrona Ventures and a former vice-president of Microsoft, said that, unlike previous acquisitions, TikTok would look like an “island” within Microsoft in the coming years, which would give Microsoft time to resolve regulatory issues.
Mr Somasega said TikTok would integrate with Microsoft’s other consumer-oriented businesses in the future. For example, TikTok’s advertising business can be cross-promoted with Bing, and TikTok can provide live streaming services for the Xbox platform.
If it succeeds in integrating TikTok, Microsoft will become the fourth-largest U.S. online advertising company. While different analysts have different expectations for TikTok growth, Dan Ives, an analyst at investment firm Wedbush, expects revenue s $500m this year and $1bn in 2021. Mr. Eavis estimates that TikTok’s valuation will reach $200bn in the next few years. Microsoft’s cash reserves are currently $136 billion and are expected to generate $39 billion in free cash flow by 2020, Mr. Ives said.
The acquisition of TikTok marks a new stage in Microsoft’s ambition to compete in more areas under Nadella. As Das puts it, “TikTok brings Microsoft the DNA to compete with its rivals in a number of areas.” “