IAC Earnings Call: Diller: On To Election 2012; Not So Fast For His Own Business

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Diller's his usual cranky self this morning on IAC's Q308 earnings conference call.

"Congratulations to those who supported the winner, condolences to those who didn't. After a short pause, we will be on to Election 2012."

Acquisitions strategy: We want to run the company long term; we do not want to run it quarter to quarter. I can tell you with absolute confidence that our acquisitions strategy going ahead will be disciplined going ahead, as we have done in the past (Ed: did you hear a snicker in the background?)

Ask.com: Little hard to get a handle of economic impact. Citysearch and Match businesses, we are seeing no discernible impact...one would expect to see it in local advertising at some point. Servicematch: there is some discernible impact, but still very strong growth year over year. Search side: Roughly half our business: the trends have not been good over the last 30 to 60 days. Commercially oriented queries are weakened, and monetization weakness too, and even aside from the Google contract impact.

2009 plans: We are not going to frontally attack Google (NSDQ: GOOG). Given the new site we have with Ask.com, where we can more and more tell our audiences that we really are the best for getting specific answers, that will have over a time natural retention effect.

Dictionary.com acquisitions: We paid a rational price of $80 million, and it has exceeded all of our expectations from the first hour of first day. Besides its own traffic, it has bought 700K-800K additional queries a day to the Ask.com network.

Emerging businesses within IAC: No businesses in the emerging sectors are not carrying any big investments. It is an area we not going to emphasize in the future: we think that is ditsy focusing. We don't think emerging businesses are the tomorrow of our business. Some of the things within our emerging businesses: we will sell off and shut down, and we will do that next month.

Would you sell off search: We are open to anyone's interest. We have no desire to sell off our search business. We think we can make progress on our own.



By Rafat Ali
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