Diller Facing Ouster From IAC

    January 29, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Ask.com parent company IAC faces a shakeup in the boardroom if Liberty Media’s John Malone succeeds in shoving Barry Diller out of the IAC chairman position.

Unhappiness between gentlemen no longer entails an appointment at sunrise near the tennis court, with rapiers and seconds the order of the day. Sharp and pointed attacks are limited to comments and legal briefs.

Witness the dispute between Diller and one-time (presumably) close acquaintance Malone. Rich, powerful men squabbling over the fortunes of IAC. Of the current dispute, the Wall Street Journal quoted this gem from Diller about Malone and Liberty Media: “I am beginning to think these people are insane.”

The two sides sued each other recently, as a continuation of the dispute over IAC’s plan to split into five publicly traded companies. It’s a matter of control: Diller’s plans for the breakup leave Liberty with little influence in the four companies aside from IAC – HSN, TicketMaster, Interval International, and LendingTree.

A decision in the current exchange of lawsuits could break Diller’s stranglehold on IAC. Delaware’s Court of Chancery will decide the issue, a powerful proxy setup that lets Diller vote Liberty’s majority shares on IAC issues.

Jim Lanzone must be glad to be away from Ask and IAC these days.