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.

Related Topics: Ask: Business Issues | Channel: Industry


About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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