Rumor: Blizzard’s Former CEO Bobby Kotick May Buy Tiktok

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Following his departure from the CEO role at Blizzard, Bobby Kotick may buy Tiktok.

Key Takeaways

  • Bobby Kotick, former CEO of Activision Blizzard, considers acquiring TikTok amidst US legislative challenges.
  • Concerns over TikTok’s ties to China prompted a bill compelling ByteDance to divest its stake.
  • Legislative momentum suggests a looming ban on TikTok in the US, potentially devastating ByteDance.
  • TikTok’s pricetag may reach hundreds of billions of dollars.
  • Kotick explores partnerships with ByteDance’s co-founder Zhang Yiming and OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

After leaving his post as the CEO of Activision Blizzard on December 29, 2023, Bobby Kotick is now reportedly contemplating acquiring TikTok. The Wall Street Journal disclosed that Kotick has raised the matter with ByteDance co-founder Zhang Yiming. And during a dinner at an Allen & Co. conference earlier this week, Kotick explored the possibility of partnering with a group of potential collaborators to purchase TikTok. Notably, among them was OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

Why Bobby Kotick May Buy Tiktok

Rumor: Blizzard's Former CEO Bobby Kotick May Buy Tiktok

Kotick’s interest in TikTok comes amidst mounting concerns over the app’s future in the United States. Currently, a bill is being considered by the US legislature. It aims to compel ByteDance, TikTok’s parent company headquartered in Beijing, to divest its stake in the app or risk a complete ban. Lawmakers express apprehensions regarding TikTok’s ties to China. They raise concerns about potential data sharing with the Chinese government and its influence on American politics, fearing this could spread Chinese propaganda.

The momentum behind the bill to ban TikTok has surprised both the company and its users. Despite TikTok’s efforts to oppose the legislation, it has passed committee votes unanimously. The bill is now slated for a full House vote, with expectations that it will pass and move to the Senate. Lawmakers and those closely associated with TikTok anticipate the bill’s eventual transformation into law. They hope the Senate will swiftly address the matter following the House’s approval.

If the bill is enacted, ByteDance would have just a bit more than five months to comply. With approximately 170 million TikTok users in the United States, a ban on the platform would deal a fatal blow to ByteDance. However, if TikTok is sold before the deadline, it could potentially fetch hundreds of billions of dollars.

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