A MoneyGram advertisement in Shanghai. Photo: ImagineChina

The bipartisan effort to put the brakes on Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial’s US$1.2 billion acquisition of US money transfer firm MoneyGram continued last week, reports the Financial Times. Lawmakers requested a review of the deal by the Committee on Foreign Investments in the US (CFIUS), a multiagency group with the power to veto the takeover. CFIUS will reportedly issue a verdict by midsummer.

Co-author of the letter, Senator Pat Roberts, said the deal “should trigger no less concern than if a Chinese company were seeking to take control of a large, well-known bank”. Roberts added that the deal “highlights the inequity between US and Chinese companies when it comes to international acquisitions . . . there is virtually no chance that a US financial services company would be permitted to acquire a Chinese [rival]”.