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Big Tech Has Faced Antitrust Scrutiny. A Microsoft-TikTok Deal May Avoid Some of That

Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of e-commerce trade association NetChoice, which counts TikTok as a member, said the general support in Washington for a potential Microsoft-TikTok deal makes him optimistic that the focus will return to applying antitrust laws equally, not on which companies can or cannot participate in an acquisition.

And Szabo notes that the reaction in Washington would be very different if any other large tech company besides Microsoft stepped into the ring to purchase TikTok.

“I’m sure that if one of the four companies that testified last week were making such a similar acquisition that there would be much more vehement outrage,” he said, adding that this would be true even of Apple, which doesn’t have a social media business.