Barry Diller Says IAC Won't Buy Yahoo, But It Could Stand Alone

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IAC/InterActiveCorp Chairman Barry Diller said his company would probably not buy Yahoo! Inc.

Yahoo “is just not worth a candle unless, essentially, you got it at such a discounted price,” Diller said in an interview on “Bloomberg Go.” The Web pioneer could also “stand alone” because it has about 1 billion monthly active users. “If you can’t make it through that, something is wrong,” he said.

Yahoo has been said to explore the possibility of selling its core Internet business in the face of a possible proxy fight by activist investors, after last year abandoning a plan to spin off its valuable Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. stake. The company said in December it was looking into spinning off its main Internet operations instead, as it seeks to overcome slowing revenue growth. Yahoo’s main business -- excluding the stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan Corp. -- could be worth zero or less, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Verizon Communications Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam said last month he would consider buying Yahoo’s businesses if it was on the market.

Yahoo lost out to Google in the search business and has faced several quarters of declining revenue, as the company failed to hold on to advertising market share in key areas such mobile.

“All of us are serfs on the land of Google,” Diller said. “I told Google, it’s sensible to treat your serfs well. If you don’t, they rise up, get on horses and kill you.”

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