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IAC's Barry Diller: Bad News is Good

IAC
IAC

This morning IAC/InterActive Corp posted its earnings, and while they were messy, Chief Executive Barry Diller seemed quite satisfied.

IAC swung to a fourth-quarter net loss of $369.9 million, from a net income of $15.3 million a year earlier.

But this actually was good news for Diller, in that it gave him more ammunition to justify his plan to break the company up into five. The news out of the different divisions was so mixed, Diller figures it just makes more sense to split them up.

(The media and advertising companies, including search engine Ask.com and Evite posted a 42% rise in revenue; while over at the retail unit, comprised mostly of HSN home shopping network, revenue was up 8% and profit fell 7%.)

But what makes sense to Diller is reason for a lawsuit from his former business partner, Liberty Media Chairman John Malone.

These earnings come in the midst of a heated legal battle over InterActive Corp.'s future. Malone opposes Diller's plan and is trying to oust him. On the conference call Diller said he would not be distracted by the lawsuit that's currently pending in Delaware court. The trial is scheduled to start on March 10 and Diller said he expects an initial response to the issue within a few weeks of that date.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.