Ex-Activision boss, Bobby Kotick, reportedly wants to buy TikTok

Ex-Activision boss, Bobby Kotick, reportedly wants to buy TikTok
Images by Unsplash Solen Feyissa | Activision Blizzard | TikTok

Written by 

Tom Chapman


11th Mar 2024 10:28

While some thought they'd seen the last of Bobby Kotick, the ex-Activision Blizzard boss is poised to make a comeback in a big way. Having ruled over Activision Blizzard from 2008 until 2023, he's now apparently setting his sights on an even bigger platform... TikTok. 

Kotick stepped down from his position shortly after Microsoft acquired Activision Blizzard, but could we really see him take the reins of TikTok?

Editor Note

A prior version of this article referred to a now-dismissed complaint by the California Civil Rights Department in 2021 regarding Bobby Kotick's time at Activision Blizzard.

Bobby Kotick tipped to buy TikTok

Potential TikTok ban in America
Click to enlarge
Image via Unsplash Visual

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Kotick has approached TikTok overlord ByteDance and spoken with Executive Chair Zhang Yiming about buying the platform. The deal could be worth hundreds of billions, meaning that Kotick will need to partner up to push through the purchase.

Among those Kotick has been talking to, OpenAI's Sam Altman could join forces, pointing to a future where TikTok is merged with AI tech. TikTok is reportedly accessed by 170 million users, while news of a potential purchase comes after creating a US-only portion of the app was taken off the table. 

All of this has reportedly caught TikTok by surprise, although multiple parties aside from Kotick could be interested in a purchase. Whoever is interested needs to act quickly, and TikTok is on a tight schedule due to rumblings in America.

Why could TikTok be up for sale?

TikTok in China
Click to enlarge
Image via Unsplash Solen Feyissa

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TikTok could be up for grabs due to new US legislation suggesting it could be banned. The House is heading toward a vote, with the Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act potentially banning sites and apps owned by ByteDance.

The bill is to protect against apps that could pose a "national security risk" and comes after concerns that ByteDance is sharing user data with the Chinese government, potentially using TikTok to influence the political opinions of Americans. 

The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee with a unanimous vote of 50-0. It's now going to a vote in the full House on Wednesday (March 13). If it passes here, it will then go to the Senate.

ByteDance could be required to divest or have TikTok banned within five months. Although first discussed by Donald Trump, President Biden has now said he'll make the bill the law if it makes it through the House and Senate. Bobby Kotick could be the lifeline TikTok needs, but right now, things are up in the air. 

Tom Chapman
About the author
Tom Chapman
Tom is Trending News Editor at GGRecon, with an NCTJ qualification in Broadcast Journalism and over seven years of experience writing about film, gaming, and television. With bylines at IGN, Digital Spy, Den of Geek, and more, Tom’s love of horror means he's well-versed in all things Resident Evil, with aspirations to be the next Chris Redfield.
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