We do try to choose our words carefully when writing about the world of politics, but it seems increasingly uncontroversial to suggest that the process around the potential sale of TikTok’s US operations… well, it stinks.

First President Trump suggested that the US Treasury should get a piece of the transaction that’s been enforced by executive order, and now he has expressed support for the newest potential suitor, tech firm Oracle. That would be the same Oracle whose chairman and co-founder Larry Ellison is a prominent supporter of and fundraiser for Trump. “Oracle is a great company,” said the president at a White House event, adding that Ellison is a “tremendous person”. Where this leaves Microsoft’s talks about an acquisition is unclear. It’s certainly far from your average tech deal.

For another take on the Oracle plot twist, try this Techdirt article, which points out that Oracle has been a prominent critic of the Section 230 legislation in the US – the one enshrining safe harbour for internet companies. “Oracle doesn’t really host much user generated content,” noted Techdirt. “Of course, that would change if Oracle actually ended up buying TikTok. Suddenly, it would have a massive platform full of user generated content, and it would be fascinating to watch if Oracle changes its tune on 230…”

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