As it turns out, Alibaba will have a seat at the Yahoo negotiating table as the Web giant continues to resist a $41 billion (and shrinking) takeover from Microsoft. Yahoo owns a 39 percent equity
stake in Alibaba, worth approximately $5.2 billion. Jack Ma, the company's founder, on Monday announced that it recently hired consultants to help influence the terms of a Yahoo sale. As Forbes says,
"Alibaba might be used to majority rule in China, but it's making sure that strong connections fortify its minority voice in this possible buy-out." advertisement advertisement
Indeed, if Yahoo is sold to Microsoft, a majority of Alibaba's shares will be changing hands. The ownership question is a complicated situation, because Japanese software maker Softbank, which owns 30 percent of Alibaba, has an existing business partnership with Microsoft, while also owning 3.9 percent of Yahoo's shares.