Frank McCourt, the owner of OM, wants to buy TikTok in the US – Libération
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Frank McCourt, the owner of OM, wants to buy TikTok in the US – Libération

American billionaire Frank McCourt announces that he is creating a consortium of investors to buy the network threatened with a ban in the United States. A network that currently categorically refuses to be resold.

As owner of OM, Frank McCourt had to learn that a defense does not necessarily prevent goals from happening. This Wednesday, May 15, although TikTok refuses to be put up for sale in the United States despite pressure from Washington, the American businessman tries his luck and announces that he is a candidate for the takeover. He even specifies setting up a consortium of investors to bring an offer to the table. The price of 100 million dollars (92 million euros) to make the purchase will be put forward by several experts, reports Le Figaro.

“We can and must do more to safeguard the health and well-being of our children, our families, democracy and society. We see this potential acquisition as an incredible opportunity to catalyze an alternative to the current technology model that has colonized the Internet., rejoices the 70-year-old man, in a press release published on the website of his $500 million initiative, “Project Liberty.” The goal of the latter? Build one “Better Internet”.

In France, the news may surprise you. Frank McCourt is actually best known to supporters of Olympique de Marseille, a club he has held in his portfolio since 2016. But across the Atlantic, the billionaire has shared his concerns about the excesses of the digital world in recent years. And has built a reputation as a supporter of Internet decentralization, namely the idea (roughly) that Google, Meta and Amazon should not have ownership of the personal data of their Internet users.

So much so that the “Project Liberty” press release promises – in the event of an effective takeover of TikTok – a reorganization of “the platform to give people control over their digital identities and data. Technically, to achieve this, the initiative intends to rely on an IT protocol open source (available and theoretically modifiable by everyone) that it develops.

TikTok doesn’t give up

Whether by Frank McCourt or someone else, does this takeover stand a chance of success? For years, the Chinese parent company of the Byte Dance network has been accused by the United States of allowing the country’s authorities to spy on and manipulate Americans through the video platform. At the end of April, the US Congress passed a text requiring the sale of TikTok within twelve months. Otherwise he would forbid it.

A decision deemed unconstitutional by the network, which chose to file an appeal in May. “For the first time in history, Congress has passed a law that permanently bans one voice platform across the country and prohibits any American from participating in an online community unique to more than a billion people in the world.”, the company’s lawyers declare in the document consulted by AFP. The legal battle can go all the way to the Supreme Court. Enough to give Frank McCourt time to attend some OM games…

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