TikTok deal threatens Microsoft's integrity, some employees say

Tiktok Xbox
Tiktok Xbox (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Several Microsoft employees expressed disapproval of a potential purchase of TikTok by Microsoft.
  • Comments and a poll from an internal Microsoft Yammer group indicate negative feelings from multiple employees.
  • A deal to purchase TikTok could cost Microsoft between $25 billion and $40 billion, according to experts.

Microsoft employees spoke out against a potential purchase of TikTok through one of the company's internal Yammer groups. Business Insider saw several comments and a poll in a Yammer group called "CEO Connection," which allows Microsoft employees to ask Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella questions and discuss topics that are relevant to all of Microsoft. While the comments and poll only represent a small group of Microsoft employees, there is a large negative sentiment within them.

One poll in the Yammer group asks, "Should Microsoft buy TikTok" to which 63 percent of employees said "no" and 18 percent said "not sure." Only 18 percent of the responders said "yes." At the time Business Insider saw the poll only 250 people had voted. That's a small sample size out of the more than 150,000 people that work for Microsoft.

"Especially since Satya became CEO, I've felt nothing but pride to be part of this company," said an employee in a comment that Business Insider saw. They added, "This is the first time in a long time that I've had doubt gnawing at the pit of my stomach that maybe we're not doing the right thing."

Other comments echoed similar sentiments. In reference to President Donald Trump's comments that any deal to purchase TikTok should include a payment to the United States Treasury, one employee called that concept a "bribe." Another said, "This deal is unethical from pretty much any perspective," also stating "that Microsoft would even be considering stepping into this situation is unthinkable."

In a final comment shared by Business Insider, an employee stated "Even if it turns out we were pursuing acquiring them before this, and the POTUS was just [talking] about tax revenue benefits not an explicit payoff, the fact the US government is forcing the sale still looks bad on us. We should walk away."

A potential deal to purchase TikTok could be valued between $25 billion and $40 billion, according to experts that spoke to Business Insider. That range is mostly above Microsoft's largest acquisition ever, which was when the company purchased LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in 2016.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.