President Trump says he is 'not prepared' to sign off on the deal between Oracle and TikTok. Yahoo Finance's On the Move panel discusses.
- Want to talk about the pending deal with TikTok. President Trump saying he's not ready to sign off just yet. In fact, listen to what he said in his own words.
DONALD TRUMP: They're giving me studies on the deal. It has to be 100% as far as national security is concerned. And, no, I'm not prepared to sign off on anything. I have to see the deal. We need security, especially after what we've seen with respect to China and what's going on. We want security, so I'll let you know.
- Let's bring in Dan Howley to enlighten us a little bit. I don't know if anybody ever truly knows exactly what President Trump is thinking or intending. Can you infer anything from what he has said?
DAN HOWLEY: Not really. This has been all over the place since it really started. It was a one of a kind situation where the president said, no, this company that's a social media network devoted to, basically, teens doing dances and people-- they're just making memes, essentially, couldn't function in the US. Or couldn't-- initially, companies coudln't do business with it, and then couldn't function period in the US.
It's just a strange setting here where we talked about Huawei. That made sense from a national security standpoint, because that would be the actual infrastructure that runs our cellular networks. OK, that's understandable. But the TikTok saga has been out there. This is a social network. A lot of the issues that security experts were talking about are nebulous and very, very much in the future.
But now we have President Trump saying, "Well, I want to get a plan done here. We want to get paid for this. Oh, it's illegal to get paid? Oh, well, we'll still figure out a way for us to get paid for this."
And I think for TikTok and Oracle, it's just going to continue to be this drama going forward as long as President Trump is in office. And I think-- I wrote a piece the other day about how Microsoft missed out on being the company that can get this cool, hip social network under their arms. But in a sense, they won by losing, because they don't have to deal with this ridiculousness. And by the way, they miss out on all that added scrutiny that running a social media network brings with it.
- Dan, it's interesting, because now this report on CNBC is saying not only is the president going to rule on this-- whatever that means-- in 24 to 48 hours, I believe, was the time, 24 to 36 hours. But also that Walmart would still somehow be involved here, speaking of, an older established company getting a piece of the hipness.
And it's interesting to figure out again what that would look. We were trying to figure out what that would look like with Microsoft. Now we've got to figure out what it would look like with Oracle.
DAN HOWLEY: Yeah, Oracle, it's just a weird, weird company to be teaming up with TikTok, and I think everybody gets that. At least Microsoft has LinkedIn. Yeah, that's not something the kids use, and everybody gets spam messages through it. But at least it's a social network, and by the way, they've monetized it very well.
Oracle, no experience in social networking whatsoever. They're basically an also-ran as far as the cloud infrastructure goes, and that's what this is about. It's about trying to build up their cloud capabilities and say, look, we can hang with the big guns in the cloud space. They already have Zoom. This is another feather in their hat, and it doesn't hurt that they have connections to President Trump and the GOP. So that's part of the equation as well.
But Walmart getting in there, that makes a little more sense, because then they can leverage the e-commerce aspect of it and really drive teens and tweens-- if we still use that phrase-- I don't know if we still use "tweens" anymore. But they can be driven to Walmart then and continue to have Walmart's name throughout their lives. And that was the issue that Microsoft wanted, but obviously missed out on.