Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Quote Of The Week

This today from IAC's Barry Diller: "When a company gets a 60 percent premium offer for the shareholders and then spends three months trying to find an alternative and can't, and then still survive independently, then one side has to be wily, and the other side has to be incompetent. You pick which is which."

In the US -especially for Delaware corporations - it is far too difficult to remove incompetent directors. Fundamentally, you have to do something which is jailable before you can expect to be usurped (shareholders are far more vociferous in the UK, but here they tend to be large institutions).

The irony of course, is that Diller has himself gone fifteen rounds recently with his former mate John Malone before making up yesterday.

Now, unless you've worked for one of his many companies (most involved in the TV sector), even his name might not be familiar, but Malone is someone to keep an eye on. He has barely made a move in the Internet TV space as yet, but owns channels like Discovery, many edit facilities around the world and has significant shareholdings in companies like Diller's IAC (owner of Expedia, Match.com, Ask.com, Ticketmaster and many other online brands, as well as a significant backer of Brightcove) and US major satellite provider, DirecTV. He was previously a major shareholder in Murdoch's NewsCorp.

Malone is a personal hero of mine and the day he makes a move on the Internet TV space will be seminal for the Internet TV industry.

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