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From Baseball to ByteDance: McCourt’s Major League Tech Play

Daniel Kim Views  

EPA Yonhap News

Frank McCourt, the American real estate tycoon and former owner of the LA Dodgers, has announced his plan to acquire the US business rights of the Chinese video platform TikTok. Attention is now focused on the potential acquisition price.

TikTok is highly popular among American teenagers but faces pressure from US authorities for forced sale due to concerns about collecting sensitive information and exerting undue influence on public opinion.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) on May 15th, McCourt announced that his Project Liberty Initiative, along with Guggenheim Securities and others, is forming a consortium to acquire TikTok’s U.S. business.

Project Liberty was established by McCourt in 2021 to address this issue.

McCourt stated that if he acquires TikTok, he plans to revamp the platform to allow individual users to better control their digital identities and data.

Last month, the so-called TikTok Forced Sale Act was enacted in the United States.

This law, signed by President Joe Biden, requires TikTok’s Chinese parent company, ByteDance, to sell TikTok’s U.S. business rights within 270 days or face a ban on its services in the United States.

TikTok has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of this law, and ByteDance has stated that it will not be able to sell its US operations by the deadline and does not intend to sell them.

Previously, former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and O’Shares ETF Chairman Kevin O’Leary, among others, have expressed interest in acquiring TikTok.

Regardless of whether the sale of TikTok is finalized, there is significant interest in the potential acquisition price. Estimates of TikTok’s corporate value range from $20 billion to over $100 billion.

Meanwhile, TikTok has about 170 million users in the U.S., but it has been controversial for reasons such as allegedly causing teenage depression.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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