Billionaire Frank McCourt says he is putting together a consortium to buy TikTok

Billionaire businessman Frank McCourt said he is putting together a consortium to purchase TikTok’s US business.

His bid adds to the number of investors hoping to benefit from a new federal law that requires TikTok’s China-based parent company to sell the popular platform or face a ban.

The announcement, posted late on Tuesday on Mr McCourt’s Project Liberty initiative, said the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers was organising the bid in consultation with the investment bank Guggenheim Securities and “with the goal of placing people and data empowerment at the centre of the platform’s design and purpose”.

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US businessman Frank McCourt (Francois Mori/AP)

If a sale occurs, Mr McCourt said he would plan to restructure TikTok and give more agency to people “over their digital identities and data” by migrating the platform to an open-source protocol that allows for more transparency.

Other investors, including former Treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin, have expressed a desire to purchase TikTok.

However, parent company ByteDance has already said it does not plan to sell the platform.

The Chinese government is also unlikely to approve a sale – especially not one that includes the recommendation engine that powers the videos that populates users’ feeds.

Last week, ByteDance and TikTok filed a lawsuit against the US government to block the law from going into effect.

On Tuesday, eight TikTok creators filed their own challenge, arguing the law violates their First Amendment rights to free speech.

Mr McCourt is worth 1.4 billion dollars, according to Forbes. He sold the Dodgers for two billion dollars in 2012 to Guggenheim Baseball Management.

In 2016, he bought the French football club Marseille.

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