Saturday, January 07, 2012

Alibaba hires U.S. lobbying firm for Yahoo bid

News this week: Various media reports have confirmed that Chinese e-commerce company, the Alibaba Group hired Washington-based planning and consulting company, Duberstein Group, in its bid to acquire Internet search portal, Yahoo. U.S. congressional records shows Alibaba formally registered to lobby the government earlier in December 2011.

The Duberstein Group is headed by Kenneth Duberstein, a former White House chief of staff serving in the Reagan administration. The group will help to lobby policy makers as Chinese companies such as telecoms equipment maker, Huawei, have previously had acquisition attempts in the U.S. blocked by the government.

Alibaba’s chairman and CEO, Jack Ma, reportedly has a right of first refusal on any Yahoo acquisition under an agreement made in 2005 when Yahoo acquired a 40% stake in Alibaba for US$1 billion. He has publically stated that he is keen to acquire all of Yahoo if the opportunity presented itself.

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