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Diller's US Interactive on the Move Again
Barry Diller's US Interactive offered on Friday to purchase for $4.5 billion the remaining public shares of Expedia, Hotel.com and Ticketmaster that the company does not already own.
USA Interactive, formerly USA Networks Inc., -- best known for its sales of tchotchkes to consumers through its Home Shopping Network -- had earlier sold its entertainment business to Vivendi to focus on Internet and TV sales channels. It already owns 65% of Expedia's outstanding shares, 68% of Ticketmaster's shares and 68% of Hotels.com's shares.
Diller, former head of the Paramount Pictures film studio and Fox TV, says he expects to purchase about $9 billion in e-commerce businesses over the next several years.
During the heady dotcom days of the late Nineties, Diller had made similar efforts to purchase media businesses, but was rebuffed because of his wise unwillingness to pay the extraordinary prices in vogue at the time. Some industry observers therefore regard his actions today as a sign that e-commerce property values may now be more appropriately priced.
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