Months of tension between Barry Diller (IAC) and his long time backer, John Malone, (Liberty) boiled over into a two-way legal battle that could determine the future control of major parts of IAC.
Malone’s Liberty Media which owns a majority voting stake in IAC, has filed suit in Delaware Chancery Court accusing Mr. Diller of trying to mount a “corporate coup” with a planned restructuring that would dilute Liberty’s control over several of IAC’s major assets, which include Ticketmaster and the HSN home-shopping network.
Liberty’s suit seeks to block Diller from completing the spin-offs of several units on terms that would dilute Liberty’s voting power. Liberty’s suit follows IAC’s filing of a suit against Liberty in the same court earlier this week, in which IAC sought the right to complete the break-up on its terms.
Malone had backed Diller in IAC, by giving him the right to vote Liberty’s majority voting stake in the company.