Set Free Barry!!!


Interactive Corp. (IAC), the massive conglomerate of incongruent retailing, travel and internet companies such as Ticketmaster, Lending Tree,, and The Home Shopping Network (HSN) announced today that it will break up into five separate, publicly traded businesses (Press Release).

How fitting that on the day Citigroup (C) emphasized to the world what a total failure its massive congomlerate is, that Barry Diller should concede that his big, ugly, complicated conglomerate also doesn’t make sense or work.

Ticketmaster, HSN, Lending Tree and Interval will now all trade as separate, independent, pure businesses.

But what about 

Why doesn’t Match get to be set free of, CitySearch and all the other crappy internet properties in IAC’s “Media & Advertising” and “Emerging Businesses” segments????? 

Why does it have to get stuck with CursorMania, My Fun Cards, My Way, Smiley Central, Webfetti, Zwinky, BustedTees, Very Short List and a longer list of other impressively crappy businesses????

Match’s business is as strong as Interval’s and stronger than Lending Tree’s.

In the last 4 quarters, Match has $340 million in revenue and $70 million in operating income.  Its 21% operating margins are sweet!

It has 1.3 million paid subscribers.

Put a 20 multiple on its earnings and you have a $1 billion stand alone business.

Why does it have to be stuck with Garage Games and Smiley Central?  It doesn’t like them! isn’t cool even though you pretend it is!  It wouldn’t wink at them or even click on their profiles!  They’re not compatible!  You don’t need Dr. Phil to see that!


UPDATE (Tue 11/6, 8:30am PST): You also might want to read The Wall Street Journal articles on this, “Hoping to Grow, Diller Prunes Empire” (subscription required), B1, Tuesday, November 6, and “Score A Point For Diller” (subscription required), C14, Tuesday, November 6.

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