Yahoo! (YHOO.NASDAQ) senior officials say they have made “significant” progress in talks to ensure that the firm is compensated for a spinoff secretly made by Alibaba, a company in which it is part owner, Bloomberg reported. Yahoo has been in negotiations after it emerged that Alibaba spun off Alipay, the firm’s payment business, to a company largely owned by Alibaba Group CEO Jack Ma last summer without the consent of Yahoo, which owns about 43% of the group. Alibaba cited Chinese law that limits foreign ownership of payment firms like Alipay. Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said that “Alibaba’s management has been very committed and cooperative” during the negotiations. The Alipay division of the conglomerate is reckoned to be worth some US$5 billion.