Ackman's battle with Herbalilfe gets political

|By:, SA News Editor

Both Bill Ackman and Herbalife (HLF) hired lobbyists last year to press their respective cases with politicians spending $264,000 and $2M, respectively.

Herbalife also spent $1.3M lobbying on its own behalf.

Massachusetts senator Edward Markey recently asked both the SEC and FTC to look into Herbalife.

California representative Linda T. Sanchez also asks the FTC to look into the firm.

Ackman's Pershing Square hedge fund has made a $1B short bet that HLF shares will plummet after regulators agree with his thesis that the company is a pyramid scheme.

Shares currently trade at $65, down from the peak of $83.51 reached on January 8.

636 mutual funds have positions, up from 609 a year earlier.