The Maffei IdentityLiberty Media’s effort to seize control of InterActiveCorp, the $7 billion e-commerce company built by Barry Diller with Liberty’s backing, is not being driven by Malone alone. The Wall Street Journal this morning tells us a little bit about the third man involved in the mission of ousting Diller, one who may have been hired for the purpose. He even has a hit-man–like name: Gregory Maffei. Gregory Maffei. Scary! Where was Maffei before he was hired at Liberty? Zapping people in a Harry Potter novel? Building homemade bombs in Chechnya? No. Actually, he worked for Bill Gates and Larry Ellison. Then he became the chairman of IAC offshoot Expedia, where he first tangled with Diller. Relations, the Journal tells us, soon became “cold.” The point is, like any good assassin, Maffei has gotten to know his mark. (When Malone made him CEO, it was due, according to the Journal, to his “understanding of Barry Diller’s very delicate psyche.”) Now, it appears he’s using his knowledge to systematically destroy Diller: It was his plan to attempt to legally dismantle the agreement the company made with Diller back in the nineties that guaranteed him voting rights, an agreement he had believed was ironclad. “These people are insane!” Diller sputtered when he found out yesterday. Indeed. Insanely brilliant. This whole thing is going to get a lot more interesting.
A Not-So-Loving Triangle [WSJ]
EPA Joins Mercury Craze; A ‘Seinfeld’–Inspired Food StudyThe Environmental Protection Agency is beginning to examine the mercury levels in the twenty most commonly eaten fish in the New York City region. [NYT]
Top Chef seductress/hostess Padma Lakshmi is moving into a full-floor loft in Alphabet City. [The Real Estate/NYO]
The holy triumvirate of burgers, fries, and milk shakes continues to dominate the nation’s culinary imagination. [NRN]
What’s That Shiny Building, and What Have They Done With Our Bus Station?
When Governor Spitzer held a press conference Friday to announce the state was opening bidding for the 12-million-square-foot Hudson Yards site, he mentioned another bit of redevelopment in the works for the West Side: an imminent overhaul of the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Which promptly sent us scurrying to the Port Authority’s Website, looking for details. We turned up these renderings and these optimistic stats: Apparently they’re planning 55,000 square feet of spiffed-up stores, 26 new bus gates, and a bright office tower on top. Even if the building doesn’t look too architecturally interesting, it’s still nice to imagine a presentable depot. Just don’t count on it anytime soon; feasibility studies will be ongoing till 2009. —Alec Appelbaum
Earlier: You Wanna Buy a Rail Yard?