Alibaba Group, a Chinese e-commerce company that is partially owned by Yahoo, has hired Washington D.C. lobbying firm Duberstein Group, a step that many believe is the set-up to purchase Yahoo.
Yahoo owns 40 percent of Alibaba. That relationship, which also extends to Yahoo Japan, is considered Yahoo’s greatest asset. Those two companies along with Japan’s Softbank are in the middle of untangling their business relationships.
Alibaba founder Jack Ma has expressed an interest in buying all of Yahoo. However, there will likely be an issue with a Chinese company trying to buy a U.S. Internet business.
“Hiring a Washington lobbying firm could help Alibaba address any U.S. political opposition to a complete takeover of Yahoo by a company from a country that controls and censors the Internet,” Reuters reports.
The relationship was revealed in a government filing that was effective December 1.
[via Reuters, BusinessWeek]