Barry Diller and John Malone's Court Battle Brings Back All Our Bad Breakups

Dillerwaits

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Last October, when Barry Diller picked up The Wall Street Journal and saw his business partner in IAC, Liberty Media founder John Malone, sniping that although once there was a Barry Diller premium on Wall Street, "Today you could argue there is a Barry discount," among other things, he felt not unlike Minnie Driver when she found out Matt Damon was breaking up with her by hearing it on Oprah. "How could they be that mean?" Diller whined in Delaware chancery court yesterday. "How could they be that hostile?" For two weeks, he sat around, "waiting for the phone to ring," he said. "I expected John Malone to call me and apologize." But the call never came. Diller's testimony is the last in the trial that will determine the fate of IAC, and his statements yesterday underscore the fact that while Diller, Malone, and Malone's deputy boy toy Gregory Maffei may act as though their fight is over what's best for shareholders, this battle is personal, and that whatever the outcome of the trial, the ending to the IAC story was written long ago. Specifically, in those dark, cold months between the fall and Christmas. It was December 21, when Malone finally approached Diller, who told him: "You lost me."

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