Alibaba's Jack Ma interested in buying Yahoo

Relations between Yahoo and Alibaba had sunk to a low recently over an online payment unit

Jack Ma, chairman and CEO of Alibaba Group, said on Friday at an event at Stanford University that he was interested in acquiring Yahoo, according to reports, making this the first public overture by the Chinese company which is about 40 percent owned by Yahoo.

John W. Spelich, vice president for international corporate affairs at the Chinese Internet giant, confirmed that Ma had said at Stanford that he was interested in acquiring Yahoo. "In response to a media question as to whether he was interested in acquiring all of Yahoo, he said he was (on behalf of Alibaba Group)," Spelich said on Monday by email.

Ma did not elaborate further, he added.

Yahoo's CEO Carol Bartz was fired from her job on Sept. 6, and replaced on an interim basis by the company's chief financial officer, Tim Morse. The company's board said it was commencing a search for a permanent CEO and expected to engage the services of a nationally recognized executive search firm to help it identify candidates for the position as expeditiously as possible.

One of the issues for which Bartz reportedly drew flak, apart from her inability to turnaround the company, was her handling of an already difficult relationship with Alibaba Group which has managed Yahoo's brand and services in China since 2005.

Yahoo said it was caught by surprise when it found out that Alibaba Group had spun off its Alipay online payment unit to a Chinese company controlled by Ma.

Alibaba Group officials countered saying Bartz and other officials were fully aware of Alibaba Group's plan to divest itself of Alipay in order to meet new Chinese regulations.

 An agreement was eventually reached in late July over what Yahoo and other investors considered fair compensation for the loss of value from the Alipay divestiture.

Ma is also reported to have said previously that he would like to acquire Yahoo's stake in Alibaba Group, a level of ownership which he can now achieve by acquiring Yahoo.

Privacy groups are however worried about the implication to Yahoo users if the company comes under Chinese control, according to Financial Times newspaper.

Alibaba Group runs e-commerce site Alibaba.com that was listed in 2007 on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Group company Taobao, China's largest online retailer, was split in June into three separate companies to better address its target markets.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Mergers and acquisitionsinternetbusiness issuesinvestmentsYahooInternet service providersAlibaba Group

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?