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TikTok Goes to Court as Trump's Deadline Arrives

Company says there has been 'no clarity' from feds over proposed deal
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2020 6:08 AM CST

(Newser) – President Trump's deadline for TikTok's owner to sell off its US operations is here—but the company says it has been left in limbo by a lack of clarity from the federal government. The president said in September that he had given his "blessing" to a proposed deal involving Oracle and Walmart, though TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company ByteDance, says it has received "no clarity" from the government about whether the sale proposal will be formally accepted. With the Nov. 12 deadline approaching and "without an extension in hand, we have no choice but to file a petition in court to defend our rights and those of our more than 1,500 employees in the US," TikTok said Tuesday, per the AP.

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The proposed deal is being reviewed by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, which is led by the Treasury Department. A department spokeswoman said Wednesday evening that it "remains focused" on resolving issues around the alleged national security risks posed by the popular video app, the Washington Post reports. Legal experts tell CNN that it is unclear what will happen now that the deadline has arrived, since Trump's executive order did not specify any consequences if the sale fails to happen on time. One possibility is that CFIUS will grant the 30-day extension TikTok had asked for, though the government might choose to go to court to force the sale. (In September, a judge blocked another executive order seeking to ban Americans from downloading the app.)

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