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Photo: Chesnot/Getty Images

Microsoft on Sunday night announced via a blog post that its takeover offer for TikTok's U.S. operations has been rejected by TikTok's parent company, China's ByteDance.

Next up: Oracle is the only publicly known bidder left for TikTok U.S., which soon faces a White House deadline to either agree to a deal or be banned.

Microsoft's full statement:

ByteDance let us know today they would not be selling TikTok’s US operations to Microsoft. We are confident our proposal would have been good for TikTok’s users, while protecting national security interests. To do this, we would have made significant changes to ensure the service met the highest standards for security, privacy, online safety, and combatting disinformation, and we made these principles clear in our August statement. We look forward to seeing how the service evolves in these important areas.

Earlier: Resetting the TikTok deal odds

Go deeper

Dec 14, 2020 - Economy & Business

Reddit acquires TikTok rival Dubsmash

Photo: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Reddit has acquired Dubsmash, the short-form video app akin to TikTok, the company said in a statement provided to Axios. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Why it matters: The deal marks the latest move by a tech platform to invest in a TikTok-like video feature. Snapchat last month launched its TikTok competitor, called Spotlight. Facebook launched its competitor, called Reels, in August.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
4 hours ago - Health

Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden has picked former FDA chief David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, a day after unveiling a nearly $2 trillion pandemic relief plan that includes $400 billion for directly combatting the virus.

Why it matters: Biden's transition team said Kessler has been advising the president-elect since the beginning of the pandemic, and hopes his involvement will help accelerate vaccination, the New York Times reports. Operation Warp Speed's current director, Moncef Slaoui, will stay on as a consultant.

The case of the missing relief money

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A chunk of stimulus payments is missing in action, thanks to a mix up that put as many as 13 million checks into invalid bank accounts.

Why it matters: The IRS (by law) was supposed to get all payments out by Friday. Now the onus could shift to Americans to claim the money on their tax refund — further delaying relief to struggling, lower-income Americans.

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