What’s next for Interactive Corp. (IACI)? More Daily Beast and less Ask.com, says Barry Diller.
On today’s earnings call, Barry Diller indicated to investors that he’s willing to part ways with Ask.com:
Reuters: “We’ve been asked a lot whether we’re open to consolidating transactions in the area of search. The answer is yes,” Diller said. “And, it is unlikely that we would be the consolidator.”
The media and advertising portion of the business, which is home to Ask.com, had an 11% drop in revenue to $172.3 million from $193.3 million.
It’s rather evident Ask.com isn’t going to win the search war ever. If it can’t increase revenue, then it might be for the best to let it go.
Who would want it? The only company we can think of is Microsoft, which is doing all it can to fight the search war. How much would it pay? Our first, very rough guesstimate would be around $1 billion.
Diller would put any money from the sale — and some of the company’s $1.8 billion in cash — towards more content companies. He already has the Daily Beast, College humour cranking along, and Ben Silverman is on board. He says “our commitment to this area is real and we’re going to invest.”