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Diller's IAC: Liberty Media ‘Ploy’ Bad for Business

In the latest episode of a bitter, public battle between media titans Barry Diller and John Malone, Diller’s InterActiveCorp is claiming that attempts by Malone’s Liberty Media to oust Diller have hampered IAC’s ability to conduct business, including its planned earnings report next week.

In papers filed Wednesday and reported Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, IAC asked the Delaware Chancery Court to dismiss Liberty’s motion this week to remove Diller, IAC’s chairman, and several other members of the company’s board. Liberty has a majority voting stake in IAC and Malone serves as a director on the board.

Calling Liberty’s motion an “irresponsible ploy” designed to “create management and market chaos for IAC,” the filing suggested that its earnings release would be affected. However, an IAC spokesperson told the Journal earnings would be reported on schedule.

After a long partnership that helped to establish IAC as a force in digital media, with such businesses as Ticketmaster, and home shopping channel HSN, tension between Diller and Malone bubbled over last week in a flurry of lawsuits.

IAC filed suit against Liberty to assert its right to spin off its businesses into separate entities. Liberty, in turn, sued IAC, calling the spinoff a “corporate coup” that would limit Liberty’s and other shareholders’ voting power.