CNN: TikTok’s new suitor is former Dodgers owner Frank McCourt, as another lawsuit pushes back against ban

May 15 CNN Brian Fung & Clare duffy

Another wealthy investor says he’s organizing a bid to purchase TikTok, after President Joe Biden signed a law last month forcing TikTok to find a new owner or be banned in the United States.

Frank McCourt, a real estate billionaire and the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, said Wednesday he is laying the groundwork to acquire TikTok as part of a broad initiative to make a healthier internet.

McCourt, who has spent years accusing technology giants of exploiting their users and undermining the internet’s original open vision, did not disclose how much he aims to spend on TikTok or how much he believes the platform is worth.

Nor did he address how he plans to deal with the Chinese government’s expected opposition to a forced sale, which would likely trigger export controls China has imposed on TikTok’s secretive recommendation algorithm.

Still, McCourt said, the potential opportunity to acquire TikTok is a chance to rewire how social media works. Under McCourt’s proposal, TikTok would operate on an open-source, decentralized protocol where users control their own data no matter what social media app they use.

“We can, and must, do more to safeguard the health and well-being of our children, families, democracy and society,” McCourt said in a statement. “We believe we can preserve — and enhance — the TikTok experience by giving individuals and creators on the platform the value and control they deserve regarding who has access to their data and how it is used.”

McCourt said he is working with the investment firm Guggenheim Securities and the law firm Kirkland & Ellis to help assemble the bid, adding that the push is backed by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web.

McCourt joins a host of other would-be suitors angling to pick up a platform used by 170 million Americans. Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced in March he’s assembling a bid, as well as Kevin O’Leary, the Canadian chairman of the private venture capital firm O’Leary Ventures.

Read the full article on CNN’s website. Learn more about the bid on Project Liberty’s website.

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