NEW YORK U.S. media mogul Barry Diller expects
the U.S. economy to face tougher conditions in the second half
of the year as consumer spending weakens, he said in an
interview with CNBC that was broadcast on Monday.
The chief executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI.O) said
although it was difficult to predict how long the downturn
would last, he was certain it would not be short.
"We are probably going to go into conditions that we have
not seen in a very long time, probably towards the end of the
year," Diller said in the interview.
He told CNBC he remained confident in the business
prospects of IAC, which is in the process of separating into
five publicly traded units.
IAC's brand names include online ticketing company
Ticketmaster, home shopping network HSN, and mortgage
Diller said he would be "thrilled" once the spin-offs are
completed in coming weeks, despite a difficult financial
His plans to spin off the units had been held up by a
dispute with controlling shareholder Liberty Media LINTA.O,
owned by fellow media mogul John Malone, who Diller described
as a friend and long time business partner of 15 years.
In January, Liberty asked a court to remove Diller from his
role as chairman in a dispute over who controls the company,
but the court eventually sided with Diller.
Diller said in the interview that his business relationship
with Malone remained healthy. "There are no current issues
He also commented on the on-again, off-again merger talks
between Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O). and Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O), saying
that he still believed a deal would eventually be reached.
"It's inexplicable," said Diller in the CNBC interview. "It
seems to me if you're going to fire a $45 billion gun that you
(have to) hit the target."
(Reporting by Yinka Adegoke; Editing by Derek Caney)