After weeks of trading jabs in the press and in legal filings, Liberty Media Corp. Chairman John Malone delivered a potential knockout punch late last night when he sought to remove InterActiveCorp CEO Barry Diller from his own company's board.
Malone, whose Liberty Media controls IAC through its majority voting stake, asked a Delaware court to remove Diller and seven other IAC directors - including Diller's wife Dianne Von Furstenberg, Warner Music CEO Edgar Bronfman Jr. and prominent investment banker Steven Rattner - from the company's board and replace them with his own candidates.
Malone's request is the latest salvo in a string of skirmishes between the billionaires over control of IAC, whose assets include Ticketmaster, LendingTree, home-shopping channel HSN and Match.com.
"It has become ridiculously contentious between the two of them," said one source close to both men. "They are genuinely at war."