Gus Hurwitz on TikTok’s Lawsuit Challenging the Divestiture Bill

ICLE Director of Law & Economics Programs Gus Hurwitz was quoted by CNBC in a story about the lawsuit the company filed challenging a recently passed law that would force its divestiture from Chinese-based ByteDance. You can read the full piece here.

The D.C. Circuit Court could agree to hear the case on an expedited timeframe, meaning a completed opinion could be delivered before a sale is required, said Gus Hurwitz, senior fellow and academic director of the Center for Technology, Innovation & Competition at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School.

Hurwitz said TikTok and ByteDance will likely request a stay of the law or a preliminary injunction with the court, effectively putting the law on hold until a decision is reached.

“If the court does not put such a stay in place, I think that’s a really bad sign for TikTok and ByteDance,” Hurwitz told CNBC in an interview. “That’s a suggestion that the court thinks the law has a very strong chance of being upheld.”

TikTok could also file another lawsuit on behalf of its users, which Hurwitz said would strengthen the company’s First Amendment argument and, if the courts view it under that lens, make it harder for Congress to prevail.

“This is one of those truly hard issues on both sides sort of cases,” Hurwitz said.

…As of now, TikTok can continue to operate. Hurwitz said the company is showing little inclination to sell or or stop doing business in the U.S. until the last possible minute.

“This is going to be a while,” he said.