IAC (company)

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Industry Internet
Founded 1995; 20 years ago (1995)
Headquarters IAC Building
New York City, U.S.
Area served
Key people
Barry Diller
(Chairman and Senior Executive)
Products Interactive Online
Revenue Increase $3.11 billion as of 2014
Increase $ 378.7 million as of 2014
Increase $ 414.9 million as of 2014
Total assets Increase $ 4.27 billion as of 2014
Total equity Increase $ 1.99 billion as of 2014
Number of employees
5,000 as of January 2015
Website http://www.iac.com

IAC/InterActiveCorp (also known as IAC) is an American media and Internet company, with over 150 brands across 100 countries.[1] It is headquartered in New York City.[2] The Chairman and Senior Executive is Barry Diller,[3][4] who was previously head of Paramount Pictures, Fox Broadcasting, and USA Broadcasting.


1980s and '90s[edit]

IAC was incorporated in 1986 under the name Silver King Broadcasting Company, as a subsidiary of the Home Shopping Network. In 1992, Silver King was spun off to Home Shopping Network shareholders as a separately traded public company. In August 1995, Barry Diller bought a controlling stake in Silver King Communications, taking control of the television company as Chairman and CEO.[5] A year later, Silver King Communications and Home Shopping Network merged and acquired a third company, Savoy Pictures Entertainment. The three companies were combined to create HSN, Inc.[6]

HSN, Inc. acquired several assets in the late-1990s. In May 1997, the company acquired a controlling stake in Ticketmaster Group;[7] in February 1998, it acquired the majority of the TV assets from Universal Studios (including USA Networks, Sci-Fi Channel, and Universal Television's domestic production and distribution arms).[8] The company's name was changed to USA Networks, Inc. at this point, after the Universal deal was approved. Continuing its acquisition strategy, the company acquired Match.com in May 1999[9] and the Hotel Reservation Network in June 1999.[10]


In the early-2000s, USA Networks began divesting itself of its traditional television broadcasting and production units. In May 2001, Univision Communications acquired USA Broadcasting - a division of USA Networks including 13 fully owned stations.[11] The following year, 2002, Vivendi bought the rest of USA Networks' broadcast entertainment businesses, including the USA Network and Sci-Fi Channel.[12] This led to the creation of a new entity called Vivendi Universal Entertainment (Barry Diller became the CEO of the newly created company).[13] In the midst of this transition, USA Networks continued to build up its online portfolio. In July of 2001, the company entered the online travel business with its acquisition of Expedia,[14] followed the next year by an acquisition of Interval International.[15]

Following the shift in focus to online assets, the company changed its name to USA Interactive in May 2002; InterActiveCorp in June 2003; and finally to IAC/InterActiveCorp in July 2004.[16]

In August 2003, IAC acquired the online mortgage comparison site LendingTree,[17] and in September, the company added discount travel website HotWire to its growing list of acquisitions.[18] In October, Transat A.T. Inc. entered into an agreement to sell its French subsidiary Anyway.com to IAC, for an enterprise value of €53 million (approximately CAD$81.6 million, $62.7 million USD).[19]

In 2004 and 2005, IAC continued its growth through acquisition, adding assets including TripAdvisor,[20] ServiceMagic,[21] and AskJeeves.com.[22] It also launched Gifts.com during this period.[23] In August 2005, the company bundled together its travel-related sites, including Expedia, and spun them off as a new publicly traded company on the NASDAQ.[24] Additional acquisitions in 2006 included Shoebuy.com[25] and CollegeHumor.com.[26]

In May 2008, IAC and Ask.com acquired Lexico, the owner of Dictionary.com, Thesaurus.com, and Reference.com.[27] In August 2008, IAC spun off several of its businesses, including: Tree.com (NASDAQTREE), the Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, and Interval Leisure Group (NASDAQIILG).[28] 2009 saw the acquisition of Urbanspoon.com[29] and PeopleMedia,[30] and the launch of production company Notional.[31]

In July 2009, IAC partnered with Ben Silverman to create Electus, a company focused on multimedia production and online distribution.[32]


In 2010, IAC acquired dating site Singlesnet[33] and fitness site DailyBurn.[34] Later that year, Barry Diller stepped down as CEO of IAC.[35] In February 2011, IAC acquired the free-to-contact dating site, OkCupid, for $50 million.[36] In April 2011, IAC extended its deal with Google, originally worth $3.5 billion, to hand over all search advertising on Ask.com and other IAC search products through March 31, 2016.[37]

On February 14, 2012, Barry Diller introduced Aereo, an Internet television service. In March 2012 in New York City, Aereo started streaming all of the broadcast networks to smartphones, tablets and televisions with Internet capability.[38] On June 25, 2014, in a 6-3 Opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Aereo. The Court found that Aereo infringed upon the rights of copyright holders.[39]

On August 26, 2012, IAC acquired About.com from the New York Times.[40]

In January 2013, IAC acquired online tutoring firm Tutor.com.[41] On August 3, 2013, IAC sold Newsweek to the International Business Times on undisclosed terms.[42] In November 2013, IAC acquired Investopedia and PriceRunner from ValueClick.[43]

On August 14, 2014 IAC acquired Ask.fm for an undisclosed sum.[44]

In January 2015, IAC sold Urbanspoon to Zomato for $52 million.[45]

On July 14, 2015, the dating service PlentyofFish was purchased for $575 million in cash to become a part of The Match Group.[46]

Sacco incident[edit]

On December 22, 2013, IAC fired their Director of Corporate Communications, Justine Sacco. She became a source of controversy for tweeting: "Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just Kidding. I’m white!"[47] This was widely seen as racist. She quickly said that it was intended to be a joke and that "Her tweet was supposed to mimic—and mock—what an actual racist, ignorant person would say." [48][49][50] An IAC spokesperson said the "outrageous, offensive comment" did not reflect the company's "views and values".[51][52] The tweet went viral,[53] being re-tweeted and scorned around the world, and swiftly, she was fired for the tweet.[54] Following her dismissal, Sacco issued an unconditional apology through The Star, a South African newspaper.[55]

The incident has since become a byword for the need for people, especially professionals, to be cautious about what they post on social media.[56] Additionally, those alleging other practices to be racist have used the phrase "Justine Sacco treatment" to describe a possible response.[57] Sacco's experience leading up to and following this incident is among the topics covered in journalist Jon Ronson's book So You've Been Publicly Shamed.[58]


In the first quarter of 2014, IAC organized its businesses into four distinct segments for the purposes of financial reporting. Those segments are Search & Applications, The Match Group, Media, and eCommerce. The businesses are organized as follows:[59][60]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "IAC - CrunchBase". CrunchBase. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  2. ^ "Our Brand Locations". IAC. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  3. ^ "IAC/InterActiveCorp | Company profile from Hoover's". Hoovers.com. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  4. ^ "IAC/InterActiveCorp's Stock (IACI) on Yahoo! Finance". Finance.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2010-09-11. 
  5. ^ "Diller Is Cleared To Take Control of Silver King". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  6. ^ "Diller's Silver King To Acquire Ailing Savoy". LA Times. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  7. ^ "HSN, With 50.%, Has Controlling Stake In Ticketmaster". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  8. ^ "Barry Diller Is No Visionary, But...". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  9. ^ "Ticketmaster Agrees to Acquire Match.com". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  10. ^ "USA Networks to acquire Hotel Reservation Network". Biz Journals. Retrieved 2015-01-08. 
  11. ^ "U.S. Approved Univision Deal". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  12. ^ "Vivendi Completes USA Deal". LA Times. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  13. ^ "Vivendi Seals $10.3B USA Networks Deal". FoxNews.com. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  14. ^ "USA Networks acquires Expedia". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  15. ^ "USA Interactive to Acquire Interval International...". HospitalityNet.org. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  16. ^ "LendingTree suitor changing name". Biz Journals. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  17. ^ "USA Interactive Is Acquiring LendingTree In Stock Deal". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  18. ^ "InteractiveCorp to buy Hotwire". USA Today. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  19. ^ "Transat announces sale of Anyway.com to IAC/InterActiveCorp". The Free Library. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  20. ^ "Deals: InterActive Corp to Acquire TripAdvisor". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  21. ^ "IAC/InterActive Corp Acquires ServiceMagic". ACHR News. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  22. ^ "AskJeeves Inc to Be Bought for $2 Billion". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  23. ^ "IAC Launches Gift-Giving Web Site". Wall Strret Journal. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  24. ^ "Spinoff of Expedia Comes at Tough Time for Its Sector". New York Times. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  25. ^ "IAC/Interactive acquires online retailer ShoeBuy.com". Biz Journals. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  26. ^ "IAC Buys CollegeHumor.com". AdWeek. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  27. ^ "IAC to Buy Lexico to Boost Its Ask.com". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved February 11, 2015.
  28. ^ "IAC: And Then There Were Five". Forbes. Retrieved June 13, 2010.
  29. ^ "IAC purchases Seattle restaurant guide site UrbanSpoon". Seattle Times. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  30. ^ "IAC Buys More Dating Sites For $80 Million". Business Insider. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  31. ^ "IAC Announces Launch of Production Company Notional". PR Newswire. Retrieved 29 January 2015. 
  32. ^ "Co-Chief of NBC Entertainment Departs". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  33. ^ "Confirmed: Match.com Acquires Singlesnet". Techcrunch. Retrieved February 5, 2015. 
  34. ^ "IAC Buys Into Fitness Social Network DailyBurn". Techcrunch. Retrieved February 5, 2015. 
  35. ^ "Diller on leaving the top spot at IAC". Fortune. Retrieved February 5, 2015. 
  36. ^ "IAC's Match.com buys rival OKCupid for $50M". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2 February 2011. 
  37. ^ Leena Rao, "IAC Asks For More Google, Please." Techcrunch, April 11, 2011. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  38. ^ Stelter, Brian work=The New York Times (2012-02-14). "New Service Will Stream Local TV Stations in New York". Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  39. ^ Breyer, J (June 2014). "American Broadcasting Company, et al. v. Aereo Inc." (PDF). 
  40. ^ "Ask.com Parent To Buy About.com For About $300M". NPR. Retrieved August 27, 2012. 
  41. ^ "Biggest Online Tutor Bought By Barry Diller's IAC". ABC News. January 8, 2013. Retrieved February 11, 2015. 
  42. ^ "IBT Media to Buy Newsweek from IAC". The Wall Street Journal. August 3, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  43. ^ ValueClick, Inc. Signs Definitive Agreement to Sell Owned & Operated Websites Segment
  44. ^ "IAC to acquire Ask.fm, agrees to combat cyberbullying". Big News Network.com. 14 August 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  45. ^ http://www.vccircle.com/news/technology/2015/01/13/zomato-enters-us-purchase-urbanspoon-around-40-50m
  46. ^ Bootstrapped dating site PlentyOfFish has fewer than 100 employees and Match just bought it for $575 million in cash. Retrieved 14 July 2015.
  47. ^ "Justine Sacco Fired by IAC for ‘Offensive’ AIDS in Africa Tweet - See more at: http://www.thewrap.com/justine-sacco-fired-iac-offensive-aids-africa-quote/#sthash.MM6xrFqR.dpuf". The Wrap. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  48. ^ http://gawker.com/justine-sacco-is-good-at-her-job-and-how-i-came-to-pea-1653022326
  49. ^ "Obeidallah, Dean, "Think before you tweet" CNN 22 December 2013". Edition.cnn.com. 2013-12-22. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  50. ^ "How to tweet about Africa: the lessons of Justine Sacco, race and sarcasm | Siri Srinivas". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  51. ^ "PR officer Justine Sacco's Aids comment causes twitter storm". British Broadcasting Corporation. December 21, 2013. Retrieved December 21, 2013. 
  52. ^ Flint, Joe (2013-12-21). "PR executive Justine Sacco fired after insensitive tweet goes global". latimes.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  53. ^ Jon Ronson (February 12, 2015). "How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved February 13, 2015. Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white! 
  54. ^ O'Connell, Mark, "First Thought, Worst Thought", New Yorker, January 13, 2014
  55. ^ Withnall, Adam (22 December 2013). "PR executive Justine Sacco apologises after losing job over racist Aids ‘joke’ provoked #HasJustineLandedYet Twitter storm". London: The Independent. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  56. ^ Giacomazzo, Bernadette (2014-01-10). ""Top 10 Social Media Rules for Professionals (Hint: Don't Be Like Justine Sacco)" Latin Post, 10 January 2014". Latin Post. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  57. ^ Fleischer, Matthew (2014-01-10). "Fleischer, Matthew, "Give Chief Wahoo the Justine Sacco treatment: Fire the racist mascot", Los Angeles Times, 10 January 2014". Latimes.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  58. ^ Choire, Sicha (17 April 2015). "Jon Ronson's 'So You've Been Publicly Shamed'". New York Times. Retrieved 9 May 2015. 
  59. ^ "IAC > Our businesses". Retrieved 20 March 2010. 
  60. ^ "IAC Form 8-K". Retrieved 11 February 2015. 

External links[edit]