Byzantine Legal Fight For Control Of Ask.com Parent IAC
The Wall Street Journal covers the “open warfare” between IAC CEO Barry Diller and Liberty Media, one of its largest backers and investors. Liberty Chairman John Malone has grown increasingly frustrated with IAC’s financial and stock performance and Diller himself. Diller has control of the company through a Byzantine procedural agreement that allows him to vote Liberty Media’s shares by proxy. This week Liberty tried an equally arcane legal maneuver to circumvent the agreement and oust Diller.
The volume of the legal squabble is likely to increase as IAC reorganizes. It could also represent a big distraction for the highest level executives in the company from the core mission of running the business. Last month, Diller replaced Ask CEO Jim Lanzone with former Match.com CEO Jim Safka.
The intensifying legal battle for control of IAC clouds the outlook for the company until it’s resolved.