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Microsoft CEO Says Failed TikTok Deal Was ‘Strangest Thing’ He’s Worked On

The tech giant emerged as a frontrunner to acquire TikTok last year as it faced a potential ban under the Trump administration, but the deal ultimately fell through.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has mixed feelings about his company’s failed bid to acquire TikTok last year.

“It’s the strangest thing I’ve ever worked on,” Nadella told Kara Swisher at Vox Media’s Code Conference on Monday (Sept. 27), adding with a laugh, “I learned so much, Kara, about so many things and so many people.”

Last year, as TikTok faced a potential ban from the U.S. under the Trump administration, Microsoft emerged as a potential buyer to acquire the social media platform’s U.S. operations. The potential deal eventually fell through last September after TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, selected Oracle over Microsoft as its U.S. partner.


A TikTok sale has since stalled under the Biden administration, and it’s not immediately clear whether the deal with Oracle will ultimately go through. Last June, the Biden administration also formally revoked Trump’s executive order targeting TikTok and said it would be implementing its own process to investigate the app.

While Nadella didn’t go into the specifics of his talks with TikTok, he noted that TikTok had approached Microsoft about the acquisition, not the other way around, and acknowledged that the video-sharing platform was “caught in between a lot of issues.”

As for whether he’d still want to acquire TikTok today? “At this point, I’m happy with what I have,” Nadella said.

This article originally appeared in THR.com