What I find delicious in that Delaware trial of Barry Diller vs John Malone is this: you can take the mogul out of Hollywood, but you can’t take Hollywood out of the mogul. Look, everyone knows that Diller is an arrogant prick, and Malone a whiney pill. So the first day of testimony in their trial was enjoyably down ‘n’ dirty. On Monday, Malone testified that Diller believes he can run IAC any way he wants. “I believe he believed that it was his company. He frequently refers to it as his business.” Malone testified that after he questioned Diller’s IAC spinoff plan, “Mr. Diller said, ‘We’ll have a shareholder vote, and I will vote for it’, as if to end the discussion.” And, while IAC’s stock has sagged 20% since 2000 and lagged NASDAQ, Malone stressed how Diller has been too well compensated at more than $1 billion over the past five years or so. Malone also complained that Diller has developed “some pretty aggressive approaches to personal use of corporate aircraft” and been able to maximize it into “a fine art”. Oh, I love it when moguls attack in court.
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