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Barry Diller and Intra-IAC Schadenfreude

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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CONTRARIAN Diller (Photo: Getty Images) InterActive Corp. honcho Barry Diller, as has been noted, is in a bit of a pickle. IAC's value has declined from $22 billion to $7 billion in a time when revenue from Internet advertising is growing, and meek ventures such as and YouTube competitor Vimeo won't be the properties to turn things around. What's more, the pugnacious former Fox chairman is being drawn into a protracted legal battle with primary shareholder John Malone over control of such key assets as Ticketmaster and And to many who have toiled away under Diller for the past five years, these developments are actually a source of pleasure.

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"I'm really enjoying it," a high-level IAC executive tells of Malone's attempt to wrestle control of the company away from Diller. "I just love seeing someone give it to Barry." Certainly, Diller didn't get to be Diller without ruffling some feathers, but his managerial style in recent years seems particularly without rhyme or reason. "He'll make a decision that will cause people who have been working hard for months on an initiative to go in the complete opposite direction," says another source, who is no longer with the company. Which, we guess, is how you end up with 23/6.



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