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Oracle Met With Senate Aides About TikTok Storage After The House ban

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A smartphone with the Tik Tok logo is seen in front of a displayed Oracle logo in this illustration taken, Septemeber 14, 2020.

(CTN News) – Following the passage of the House bill that effectively banned the social media app in the United States, Oracle’s top lobbyist met privately with Senate aides regarding the company’s data storage agreement with TikTok.

TikTok users in the United States receive their data from Oracle’s data center. As part of the House legislation, TikTok’s Chinese parent company ByteDance would be required to divest the social media application or face an eventual ban in the United States.

The four meetings were primarily for the purpose of discussing the technical mitigations” of the data storage project, according to Oracle EVP Ken Glueck’s description of the previously undisclosed discussions on Monday to CNBC.

According to Glueck and new disclosure reports, Oracle hired two lobbying firms to arrange the meetings: Fierce Government Relations and Polaris Government Relations.

He said Glueck conducted discussions with staffers from the Senate Commerce Committee and the Senate Intelligence Committee. The meetings were conducted in person on two occasions, and over Zoom on two other occasions.

Oracle did not lobby for or against the TikTok bill, and only disclosed the meetings on mandatory filings in an effort to maintain transparency.

Market analysts believe Oracle could face financial headwinds if TikTok is banned.

A TikTok ban or shutdown would result in Oracle losing what is likely to be its largest OCI [Oracle Cloud Infrastructure] customer. It is a negative outcome, there is no sugarcoating it,” UBS analysts stated in a research note. Oracle and TikTok have reportedly agreed to a $1 billion deal.

Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Washington, chairs the Commerce Committee, while Senator Mark Warner, D-Virginia, serves as chair of the Intelligence Committee.

Even though the initial House bill was briefly stalled in the Senate, a similar piece of legislation was passed by the House on Saturday and has already received key support in the Senate.

In the event that a ban is signed into law by President Joe Biden, Cantwell and Warner have both indicated that it could take up to a year for TikTok to be successfully divested from ByteDance.

TikTok’s lobbyists reportedly complained to legislators that not done enough to oppose the legislation after hearing news of the meetings. In an effort to prevent the legislation from becoming law, TikTok has spent millions of dollars on advertising and other lobbying activities.

In the first three months of the year, Oracle paid Fierce $90,000 and Polaris $80,000. Theirs was the only outside firm Oracle paid this quarter that focused on this issue. According to the disclosures, the services included providing congressional offices with “technical assistance” regarding the TikTok legislation.

Specifically, the Internal Revenue Service defines this type of assistance as legislators seeking guidance from industry experts, especially when legislation is being debated.

It is estimated that Oracle has spent more than $2.4 million on lobbying in Washington year to date, according to the company’s disclosures. Additionally, TikTok was lobbied in-house along with a variety of other issues.


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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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