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Trump's bid for a piece of Microsoft-TikTok deal could spur legal action

Washington, DCOn Tuesday, President Donald Trump repeated his unprecedented demand that the United States get a cut of the proceeds from the forced sale of Chinese internet giant ByteDance's short-video app TikTok - a demand based on an interpretation of U.S law that regulatory lawyers say may be open to challenges.

Trump said that he told Microsoft and other companies interested in buying the assets of Tik Tok that the U.S. Treasury would have to benefit also."I told Microsoft and frankly others if they want to do it, if they make a deal for Tik Tok, whether it's the 30 percent in the United States or the whole company, I say it's okay but, if you do that, we're really making it possible because we're letting you operate here. So the United States Treasury would have to benefit also, not just, not just the sellers," he said.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a U.S. government panel that reviews deals for potential national security risks, has given ByteDance until Sept. 15 to negotiate a sale of TikTok to Microsoft Corp , amid concerns over the safety of personal data that the app handles under its Chinese parent.

CFIUS legislation gives the U.S. government broad authority to seek mitigation from companies that are jeopardizing national security, legal experts said. While CFIUS has never before sought a cut from the proceeds of a divestiture it has ordered, the White House could argue that imposing a fee on Bytedance would deprive it of resources that would otherwise support China's government on technology initiatives that could harm U.S. interests, some of the legal experts added.
Microsoft has said it is seeking to buy the assets of TikTok in North America, Australia and New Zealand. It has not disclosed how much it is willing to pay, though sources previously told Reuters that ByteDance executives value all of TikTok at more than $50 billion. The White House, the Treasury Department, Bytedance and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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