Barry Diller is a keynote at the Monaco Media Forum, in a Q&A conversation with Kara Swisher, and is explaining the move to break into five companies:
During the summer, I started thinking where are we adding value to the business. The mortgage and financing business: I have little or no interest..this is not how I want to live my life. It is not close to an area I have expertise in. We were being superficial managers. They had to be separate. The businesses such as HSN and Ticketmaster helped us give the cash flow to invest in online. Now that we have money in online, we can let the previous ones go. I still believe in synergy, but I call is natural law. They have to naturally fit into each other. The problem is that there was so much huffing and puffing to fit them together. I am not sure what role I will play in all five companies.
Google: It has huge marketshare, and I don’t believe in long run it will be able to keep with it. I don’t think Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is going south anywhere, but it is compete-able with.
Yahoo: Now with their new management, now they will absolutely try, Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) is a greater failure, with a huge amount of capital and no real traction.
On the Hollywood strike: The writers strike is a dopey thing on the part of the writers. They’re asking for more money for DVD…the numerical here is from 4 cents to 8 cents. This is for DVDs for scale, that means for movies. So this involves really 10 writers a year that would be economically affected.
The idea that the Guild is going for strike, under a dumb guise that digital media will be valued and what. No one can solve an issue where there is no economic model yet. Over the next five year, the market will develop, and at the end of that period, if the economic value is being created, we will sit in good faith and give you the money.
Facebook: I it was real money, it would be insane, but since it isn’t really, then why bother. It doesn’t mean anything, it is a phantom, false valuation. Let them sell for $14 billion, 998 million, and then I’ll believe them.
Facebook vs Google/OpenSocial: Closed vs open. The closed nature of Facebook feels protective to people on there, but I do believe open is always the way to go. The wonderful thing about Google is how focused they are on their sponsored listings business and its efficiency. Nothing else they’re done have landed itself in a large way. Their base business is so strong and so young, that so as long as they remained they focused on that, doesn’t matter what else they do.