Former Activision exec looks to buy TikTok as legislation banning app looms in Congress

Kotick is actively searching for partners in the endeavor including OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.


With legislation being pushed in Congress that would ban the TikTok app in the US if it is not sold by Chinese firm ByteDance, former Activision CEO Bobby Kotick is reportedly considering purchasing the app.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Kotick is actively searching for partners in the endeavor including potentially OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. OpenAI would then be able to use TikTok to help train its AI model going forward.

The bipartisan bill was introduced by Rep. Mike Gallegher (R-WI) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) and would force ByteDance to divest from TikTok or have it be inaccessible to users in the United States.

The piece of legislation states that it is meant to "protect the national security of the United States from the threat posed by foreign adversary controlled applications, such as TikTok and any successor application or service and any other application or service developed or provided by ByteDance Ltd. or an entity under the control of ByteDance Ltd."

If passed, the ByeDance would have just over five months to comply. On Thursday, the bill was voted out of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee by a 50-0 vote and is expected for a vote on the House floor this week.

Lead on the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party and co-author of the bill Mike Gallagher said, “I’ve had discussions with a lot of the [senators], and we welcome that and hope they could act swiftly."

If passed by the US House, the legislation would move to the Senate, where Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said it "should be looked at" but didn't make a commitment to bring it up for a vote. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) recently voiced his opposition to the bill along with former President Donald Trump.

"If Congress bans TikTok, they will be acting just like the Chinese communists who have also banned TikTok," Paul said on X. "Why not just defend the First Amendment?"

"I don’t think we should ban ownership in companies because we don’t like some of the different governments that are involved or some of the different countries,” he added in a separate statement.

On Truth Social, former President Trump said, "If you get rid of TikTok, Facebook and Zuckershmuck will double their business." He added, "I don't want Facebook, who cheated in the last Election, to do better. They are true Enemy of the people!"

President Biden has vowed to sign the legislation if it reaches his desk.

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