NEW YORK (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Barry Diller's announcement that he planned to split IAC/InterActiveCorp into five independent parts sparked speculation that Diller finally managed to broker a deal with Liberty Media's John Malone to buy out Liberty Media's stake in IAC in exchange for the Home Shopping Network. But now, at least according to BusinessWeek Malone may now be looking at acquiring Ticketmaster instead.
Although the IAC/HSN share swap has been featured large in industry gossip of late, the public contretemps between Diller and Malone have made the deal seem unlikely.
Liberty has been interested in acquiring HSN to merge it with QVC, Liberty's rival shopping network. Liberty CEO Gregory Maffei but reportedly been unable to make the deal work, calling the price IAC set for HSN "too high." Then, during a business conference on Dec. 3rd, Maffei publicly opined that Liberty may now focus on Ticketmaster, that it was a "great business" and that "at the right price, we’d be interested" paidcontent.com reported.
Questions remain – would Diller be willing to divest Ticketmaster, which moved 7.1 billion worth of tix last year in exchange for getting rid of less compelling assets? Stay tuned. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers