Earlier today, it was reported that Kevin Mayer was stepping down from his role as CEO of short-form video platform TikTok in the midst of the conflict between it and the U.S. government. Now, a report from Julia Boorstin of CNBC claims that the reason Mayer chose to step down is that he was excluded from the negotiations to complete the sale of TikTok to an American company.
Further, Boorstin's sources claim that Mayer's exit indicated that the acquisition deal could happen in the next couple of days, and that the buyer would likely be Microsoft. The Redmond company has been indicated as the most likely to go ahead with an acquisition of TikTok, and the company's share prices spiked 3% following the report.
However, TikTok has yet to make a final decision on a buyer, and Oracle is still in the running for the acquisition. At one point, Walmart seemingly tried to partner with SoftBank to make an offer for TikTok, but conversations fell through since the companies didn't have a "technology backbone partner", according to CNBC.
Regardless of who ends up buying TikTok, the report indicates that the transaction will be valued between $20 and $30 billion, though a specific number hasn't been decided yet. We'll have to wait for a formal announcement in the coming days.
Update: In a follow-up report, Walmart has told CNBC that it's now teaming up with Microsoft for the TikTok acquisition. The retailer believes TikTok could help it reach more customers but also grow its advertising business. It's still unconfirmed who TikTok is being sold to, however.