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Apple is not interested in buying TikTok

The Verge logo The Verge 4/8/2020 Russell Brandom
© Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Apple says it’s not interested in acquiring TikTok, despite an Axios report that named the company as a potential buyer for the embattled social network. The company tells The Verge that there are no talks at present to acquire TikTok, and it has no plans to pursue such a deal.

Notably, Axios sourced the information to figures outside of Apple, who reportedly had knowledge of ongoing talks.

Microsoft announced on Sunday that it was in talks to buy TikTok’s operations in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, as guided by President Trump. There has been heated speculation about other potential buyers for the app in the days since. Axios also said there was significant private equity interest in the purchase, and Microsoft has stated it would be open to minority investors as part of the deal.

Such a deal would be unusual for Apple, which has been broadly critical of targeted advertising, a practice at the center of TikTok’s business. At the same time, Microsoft has tried a number of times to launch competitors to Facebook and YouTube, and some have argued that a TikTok acquisition would give the company the foothold it needs in social networking.

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