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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Chinese Group Will Lobby US Government

The Chinese Alibaba Group has recently hired a Washington lobbying company that is being seen that the group will make a bid for all of Yahoo in case talks to unwind their Asian partnership fail. The lobbying firm, named Duberstein Group, is governed by Kenneth Duberstein, who is a former White House chief of staff under President Reagan. Among the company’s other clients there are BP America, Goldman Sachs & Co and Pfizer.

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Alibaba Group head, Jack Ma, said in September that he wanted to purchase all of Yahoo in case the chance appears. Nevertheless, he might get some troubles with Washington that may not want to see a US company taken over by a firm from a country engaged in controlling and censoring the web.

The United States might be happier in case its own online filtering legislation, known as the SOPA act, passes, but at the moment the country can afford to be sanctimonious with China. According to the media, Huawei ran into opposition when they were trying to purchase American assets over the years.

It is really not easy to see how there could be a national security concern in Yahoo corporation going to Alibaba Group. In fact, whatever happens with the Yahoo being sold, it will involve Alibaba and Softbank, with all three parties having a need to untangle complex relationships leaving Yahoo in charge of a much bigger company.

Meanwhile, the Yahoo's board that has led the company to such spectacular successes over years again looks reluctant to give up control. After turning down an overpriced deal from Microsoft Corporation, the company is attempting to protect itself from any buyouts through selling some of the assets that Alibaba and Softbank are looking for. The recent plan, estimated at $17 billion, would reduce Yahoo's 40% stake in Alibaba and get Yahoo out of Yahoo Japan.

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