Last Updated Mar 6, 2008 11:54 AM EST
The parts never added up to a tidy sum, however much Diller said it would. He spun Expedia off of IAC in 2005. Last November, he said he'd spin off even more companies, until that idea met a court challenge. Now he's announced layoffs at search engine Ask.com, not long ago considered the crown jewel of IAC and the thread that would tie the whole bunch of businesses together.
Forty workers at Ask are going away, or 8 percent of the total. There really isn't a faster way to telegraph to your workforce, your advertisers, and the other people who do business with you that you don't know what to do than to shift repeatedly your game plan and then top it all off with a round of layoffs.
What is IAC now? I'm not sure anymore, except that it's starting to look like a mess. If Diller keeps up at this rate, he's going to end up tinkering IAC to death.