The cable media mogul John C. Malone told a judge on Monday that he held no ill will toward his longtime business partner, Barry Diller, who controls IAC/InterActiveCorp, even though the two are now battling over who controls what at IAC.
The central question in the trial is this: Is Mr. Maloneís voting stake in IAC his, because he owns it through his Colorado-based holding company, the Liberty Media Corporation? Or does voting control belong to Mr. Diller through the proxy granted to him long ago by Mr. Malone?
The arrangement was peaceable enough until last year, when Mr. Diller proposed to spin off 4 of IACís 60 businesses as newly independent companies. The sticking point for Mr. Malone is that even though his equity stake in IAC is only 30 percent, his Class B shares give him about 62 percent voting control, which would be extinguished in a spinoff because the new companies would have no supervoting stock.