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Trump's TikTok showdown is poised to reward his Silicon Valley political allies

September 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

President Donald Trump last month used his office to ignite an international business crisis that's plunged into doubt the future of one of the world's most popular social media platforms — a decision that's now led to the apparent benefit of a major political backer.

As Oracle seeks US approval for a landmark partnership with the short-form video app TikTok, experts say questions will intensify over Trump's political relationship with Oracle chairman and co-founder Larry Ellison.

Trump raised eyebrows last month when he publicly supported the prospect of a deal involving TikTok and Oracle.

As the Oracle-TikTok negotiations progressed, some reports highlighted how Microsoft has savvily built its own relationships with the Trump administration.

Other experts said that while Ellison's ties to Trump may have given Oracle an edge, the proposal at the end of the day must still adequately resolve the US government's national security concerns.

Sources have described the proposal as stopping short of an outright sale of TikTok to Oracle, a detail that could conflict with Trump's Aug. 14 executive order that called for a full divestiture, said Harry Broadman, a partner at Berkeley Research Group and former member of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the government body that vets certain deals that could give a foreign investor control of a US business.

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