Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Diller-Malone Smackdown


Don’t miss this most excellent article by Jessica E. Vascellaro in The Wall Street Journal this past weekend about the mogul-tussle–an Olympic sport!–between IAC/InterActiveCorp.’s Barry Diller and John Malone of Liberty Media (both pictured here).

It’s called: “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” And what are they fighting over? Control, of course, and big piles of money related to IAC (see revenue chart below)!


It’s always nice when two extravagantly colorful business icons take off the gloves so extravagantly in public and don’t shrink from controversy.

In the piece, the normally quippy Diller comes off almost calm, though, compared to the particularly obstreperous Malone, who is clearly trying to spur Diller into doing something rash by ranting in public.

My advice: Keep a lid on it, Barry!

In any case, some choice quotes from Malone:

“There was a time when there was, I think, a 20% Barry premium. Today you could argue there is a Barry discount.”

“The hook is set. It is our company. Barry ain’t going to be able to spit the hook.”

“Barry doesn’t use his balance sheet effectively. He is not a financial guy.”

“There is not quite as much love for Barry on average [at Liberty]. [Liberty CEO] Greg [Maffei] has made it clear that he isn’t as enchanted with Barry as I am.”

“It is a little uncomfortable for Barry. Right now we are the shadow that walks around behind him.”

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work