NEW YORK — Cable
legend John Malone
sold his interest in
last week, a move
that gave his Liberty
Media $220 million
in cash and two online
cleared IAC chairman
Barry Diller’s path
to greater control of
the online giant he
Evite and Gifts.com will join Liberty’s other online businesses,
including Bodybuilding.com and Provide Commerce, in the Liberty
Interactive unit. Diller remains IAC’s largest individual shareholder.
Match.com CEO Greg Blatt will become CEO of IAC.
Diller, who stepped down as CEO but remains chairman of IAC,
also receives the right to purchase additional shares during the
next nine months that could increase his voting control of the company
from 34% to more than 40%.
The transaction is another twist in what has at times been a contentious
17-year relationship between Malone and Diller, who traded
barbs in a highly public court battle in 2008 that led to the breakup
of IAC. Malone and Diller still own interests in former IAC businesses
HSN Inc., Lending Tree, Expedia and Interval International.