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Diller Backs Off Ask.com Sale, Talks Consolidation Instead
In what might just be a bit of posturing, Barry Diller told the Reuters Global Media Summit in New York that he’s turned away companies interested in buying Ask.com and thinks consolidation with another search company is the way to go.
Diller, the CEO of IAC — Ask.com’s parent company — was clarifying comments made in October, when he said he’s “open to consolidating transactions in the area of search,” and that it’s “unlikely that we would be the consolidator.” Today, he talked about turning away others who wanted to buy Ask.com:
“The people who called us were on exploration missions, on a stand-alone buy as an asset. That is different than having conversations with other people in the vineyard, in the area of search…. I think further consolidation in search is necessary given Google’s dominance.”
But with search possibly soon to be a two-horse race between Google and Bing/Yahoo, Diller doesn’t seem to have many consolidations options left. He said he’s had “idle chat” with AOL about partnering on search and local services, but has no interest in acquiring AOL.