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Alibaba Hires US Lobbyist Firm, Still in Talks to Acquire Yahoo!

Chinese Internet firm Alibaba has hired a lobbying firm in the United States as it considers an acquisition bid for Yahoo.

According to an article on the Telegraph, the company has hired Washington based lobbying group Duberstein Group to assist it with an acquisition bid for Yahoo if talks to acquire the Asian units of Yahoo! fail.

Yahoo! currently owns a 40 percent stake in Alibaba and a 35 percent stake in Yahoo! Japan, which is owned by Softbank. The companies have been in talks with Yahoo! to sell its shares back to them.

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has openly declared he wants to acquire the struggling US based Internet company even as on-going discussions reveal that Yahoo! is considering retaining a 15 percent stake in Alibaba.

Alibaba decided to higher a lobbying firm to make sure that its acquisition bid for Yahoo! is cleared by regulators in the US. The US government has been investigating the role Chinese companies are playing in the US economy.

"The national security concern is sometimes just an excuse for commercial concerns for any country, but certainly for the US," Mark Natkin, managing director of China based consultancy Marbridge Consulting, told Reuters.