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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

IAC's Diller wins court battle with Liberty

Michele Gershberg, PTI  New York, March 29, 2008
First Published: 15:51 IST(29/3/2008) | Last Updated: 16:12 IST(29/3/2008)

InterActiveCorp (IAC) chief Barry Diller won a bitter legal dispute with Liberty Media Corp's John Malone on Friday, paving the way for him to proceed with efforts to spin off four of IAC's largest units.

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Shares in Internet conglomerate IAC surged more than 8 per cent on the Delaware Chancery Court ruling, which blocked Liberty's effort to oust Chairman and Chief Executive Diller and six other IAC board members.

The decision followed a week-long court battle that exposed a deteriorating friendship between the two billionaire media moguls after more than a decade of business dealings.

It also opened the door for further disputes between Malone and Diller, who must now return to the table and either work through the contentious spin-off or agree to swap IAC assets for Liberty's stake in the company.

"I wish this hadn't happened, but it did," Diller said in a statement. "Now it's over and we can all get on with our work and lives."

Liberty and IAC sued each other in January over Diller's plan to structure the spun-off units with a single-class share structure that would halve Liberty's voting control over the businesses as separate entities.

Liberty owns about 30 percent of IAC, but retains 62 percent control through a class of super-voting shares. But Diller runs IAC through a long-standing proxy agreement that gives him the sole right to vote those shares.

The agreement became a point of contention between cable mogul Malone and Diller, a former film and television executive, as IAC's financial results and share performance lagged comparable market indicators.


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