Obama's 'Slamming of Business' Unhealthy: Diller

Barry Diller
Barry Diller

The Obama administration has engaged in a “consistent slamming of business,” IAC Interactive CEO and chairman Barry Diller told CNBC Monday.

“Tension between business and government is healthy,” he added. “Where there appears to be, I say, is, a consistent slamming of business in so many different areas, I think then it’s unhealthy.”

Travel was especially hard hit, Dillersaid, when the administration criticized conventions—in particular a retreat last year for AIG executives at a luxury resort, following the giant insurer's collapse.

“If AIG has lost all this money, should it really go and be in a Four Seasons Hotel?” said Diller, who was speaking from the Fortune Brainstorm Tech, an annual event in Aspen, Colo., for leaders in media, technology and the Internet. “No, but don’t damn the whole industry.”

Diller said the president’s statements against conventions were “rank on any level. They were simply sensationalist.”

“Conventions are great for cities, great for hotels,” added Diller, whose company owns or is affiliated with travel websites. “When a convention comes to town, everything picks up. I don’t know how you go against conventions.”

Diller’s IAC Interactive is an Internet company with some 50 brands, including ask.com, The Daily Beast and match.com, and more than 196 million unique visitors in 30 countries. Among Diller's other experience is that he has been CEO and chairman of both Paramount Pictures and Fox Inc. at different times.

Diller sounded a positive note about advertising, which he said was up with “even plus a nickel,” across the board from where it was one or two years ago.

”It’s solid,” he said. "I don’t think it’s dipping. I don’t think it’s going away.”