Last month’s announcement of an IAC/InterActiveCorp breakup outlined a strategy to divide the company, but failed to mention exactly how IAC CEO Barry Diller will cut ties with Liberty Media.
Liberty Media owns a 24 percent stake in Diller’s company and a 55 percent voting interest. Relations have grown tense over the years, partly because Liberty chairman John Malone holds veto power over Diller, according to Business Week.
IAC’s HSN home shopping network, Interval time-share business and LendingTree mortgage referral units, as well as the Ticketmaster ticketing service, which Liberty is rumored to be eyeing, are being spun off.
At the time, Diller said in a statement that IAC was looking to simplify and streamline its offerings by paring down the company to include Evite, Citysearch, Excite, Ask.com and Match.com.
"I’ve always believed our complexity and many mouthfuls of sentences to explain who we are and what our strategy is have hampered clarity and understanding with all our constituencies, particularly investors," Diller said.
Malone reportedly had a "mild disagreement" with Diller over the breakup, and because negotiations for HSN appear to have fizzled, Liberty set its sights on the ticketing giant.
Liberty CEO Gregory Maffei recently said during the UBS Global Media & Communications Conference in New York that even though TM may face problems after its contract with Live Nation expires next year, the ticketing giant would fit well with Liberty’s entertainment holdings.
"Even with its Live Nation problem, Ticketmaster has a great business," Maffei told Business Week. "And it would be a nice fit with DirectTV, which distributes a lot of programming that has to do with live events."