business news in context, analysis with attitude

Earlier this week, Walmart lost out in its effort to be part of an acquisition of Chinese app TikTok's US operations, when the company decided instead to make a deal with Oracle, which now is being positioned as a "partnership" rather than an outright sale.

Walmart was part of a competing bid from Microsoft, and was clearly interested in using TikTok as a way to access a younger customer base with an online marketplace.

But, according to numerous published reports, there remain a lot of moving pieces, and Walmart remains engaged.

President Trump - who precipitated the scenario when he demanded that TikTok's US operations be sold because of national security concerns about data usage - has not signed off on a "partnership."

"I’m not prepared to sign off on anything. I have to see the deal," he said yesterday.  (He also conceded that the US government could not legally get a cut of the deal, as he had proposed.)

Walmart, the company said in a statement, "continues to have an interest in a TikTok investment … We know that any approved deal must satisfy all regulatory and national security concerns."

KC's View:

This was predictable … I can't see any reason off the top of my head why Walmart and Oracle could not make a deal.  They have different and non-competing interests in TikTok, best I can tell, and so there ought to be ways to work together.  

And Walmart is motivated - a TikTok relationship could give it a powerful weapon in its battle against Amazon.

I said it on Monday, and I'll say it again.  I may be wrong about this - I know very little about this subject - but this somehow doesn't feel like a done deal to me.