In the Headlines
April 26, 2024

TikTok Ban Reveals Congress' Power in Place of CFIUS Limits

National security attorney Antonia Tzinova spoke with Law360 about a new law calling for TikTok parent company ByteDance to sell the app or become banned in the U.S. The Protecting Americans from Foreign Adversary Controlled Applications Act designates both TikTok and ByteDance as national security threats as well as allows the president to designate any website, desktop or mobile app as being "controlled by a foreign adversary" that presents a threat to national security. The legislation seems to put an end to an arrangement under which the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) allowed the app to continue operating while contracting with Oracle Inc. to serve as an outside monitor. Ms. Tzinova, who leads the firm's CFIUS and Industrial Security Team, called the law "a blueprint of how Congress may choose to substitute CFIUS authority," given that the committee lacks the ability to directly compel compliance with its determinations.

"CFIUS could have blocked the transaction, but Congress decided to do this on their own," she said. "This is where you have the bigger-picture repercussions for future transactions, but it's not necessarily in this area of media or technology. It's more like [Congress is saying], 'Any transaction that we don't like in the future, we can pass a law and block it.'"

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