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People's Daily Online>>China Business

Alibaba hires lobbying firm to promote buying Yahoo

By Sun Chaoyi (Beijing Daily)

14:51, December 31, 2011

Edited and Translated by People's Daily Online

Alibaba Group, China’s largest e-commerce business, has taken another step toward buying back stake owned by Yahoo! Inc. A U.S. Senate office recently disclosed that Alibaba has hired the leading U.S. lobbying firm Duberstein Group to help it with the deal with Yahoo.

According to Duberstein Group, Alibaba and Softbank Corporation hired it earlier this year to lobby the U.S. government. Although Duberstein Group did not reveal its lobbying objective, it is highly possible that both Alibaba and Softbank intend to lobby the U.S. government to approve their stake transaction with Yahoo.

Analysts believe that Alibaba and Softbank’s joint move indicates they have made major breakthroughs in buying back the stake owned by Yahoo. It would be unnecessary to hire a lobbying firm unless they really need the U.S. government to approve their deal with Yahoo. Alibaba and Yahoo declined to comment.

Under U.S. law, a lobbying firm is required to register and file a public disclosure within 45 days after it contacts with a public official. The lobbying work for Alibaba already began on Dec. 1, and it was the first time that Alibaba registered to lobby the U.S. government.

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