IAC split plan is back on track

Separation complete by August, Diller says

Now that his legal feud with John Malone and Liberty Media has ended, Barry Diller said he expects that the carving up of IAC/InterActiveCorp. into five separate companies will be completed in August.

Once HSN, Lending Tree, Ticketmaster and the real estate time-share business are split from Ask.com and the other faster-growing businesses, IAC can "grow over 50% in this '08 or '09 year," Diller said.

Diller, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Internet Conference in Las Vegas, referenced Malone's attempt to prevent the breakup of IAC only briefly.

"We announced this in December," he said of the breakup. "We had a slight interruption that some of you might have heard about. But that's over now."

Later at the same conference, Liberty Media CEO Greg Maffei didn't talk about IAC except to dismiss speculation that Liberty's QVC would be interested in merging with HSN.

Diller also told the Wall Street analysts in attendance that IAC is focusing more on "specialized" search engines, promising one called Green.com that will target children ages 6-12.

"There is no really good kids' search engine that is free of any questionable things on it," he said.

He also said that Ticketmaster considered an arrangement with Madonna before competitor Live Nation inked a $120 million, 10-year deal with the singer. He said Ticketmaster offered about 60% of that, "at which point we thought we were at break-even."