Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has labelled the company’s potential TikTok deal as a “poison chalice.” In a wide-ranging interview, Gates makes it clear he’s wary of Microsoft acquiring TikTok.

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has labelled the company’s potential TikTok deal as a “poison chalice.” In a wide-ranging interview, Gates makes it clear he’s wary of Microsoft acquiring TikTok.

Microsofts complicated deal even has Gates wary
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has described the companys potential TikTok deal as a poison chalice. In a wide-ranging interview with Wired, Gates makes it clear that Microsoft acquiring parts of TikTok wont be easy or simple. Who knows whats going to happen with that deal, says Gates. But yes, its a poison chalice. He also notes that being a big player in the social media business is no simple game, as Microsoft will have to contend with a whole new level of content moderation.
Asked if Gates is wary of Microsoft getting into the social media game, he suggests that Facebook having some more competition is probably a good thing but that having Trump kill off the only competitor, its pretty bizarre.
Gates seems as confused as the rest of us about how this potential TikTok deal is proceeding, especially with President Trump suggesting the US Treasury will need some type of cut from any acquisition. I agree that the principle this is proceeding on is singly strange, says Gates. The cut thing, thats doubly strange. Anyway, Microsoft will have to deal with all of that.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.
Photo by Ryan Manning / The Verge
Gates comments come just days after Microsoft confirmed it was pursuing a deal to buy TikToks operations in the US, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Reports have also suggested Microsoft might be considering buying all of TikToks global operations, with the Financial Times suggesting talks around this particular deal are at the preliminary stage.
President Trump also claimed last week that he was a day away from banning TikTok in the US, before later setting a deadline of September 15th for Microsoft to conclude its potential acquisition and avoid TikTok being banned.
Its a complicated deal that would give Microsoft a big presence in the social networking space at the risk of being part of a larger trade war between the US and China. Gates is clearly wary of the acquisition, but were about a month away from seeing if it becomes a reality.

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