Diller: Liberty Fight Could Delay IAC Breakup

This one seems obvious, but Barry Diller admitted today that while he hoped his legal entanglement with Liberty Media’s John Malone wouldn’t prove a distraction, it might delay his IAC breakup plans — which is exactly what Malone is trying to do. Diller has targeted the the second or third quarter of 2008 for the spinoff of HSN, Ticketmaster, Interval International and Lending Tree. “Realistically,” he said, “this could push us back quite some time. About a month or so, but at this point we just don’t know.”

The dispute is set to go to trial on March 10. Best-case scenario: they get a decision “a few weeks later.” Worst case? “If Liberty does prevail there will obviously be consequences,” but Barry said he won’t discuss them. “That is a country too far and one I don’t believe we are going to get to,” he said.

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