Monday, March 21, 2005

Not Exactly A Berkshire Hathaway Move

Well, the "Berkshire Hathaway of the New Economy," as world-famous Legg Mason money manager Bill Miller has called Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive, is making a very non-Berkshirian acquisition.

IAC will shell out nearly $2 billion of stock for Ask Jeeves, the Bubble-Era search engine briefly revived from the near-dead thanks to its relationship with Google, which provides 70% of Ask Jeeves' advertising revenue by placing ads on Jeeves' sites.

The spin thus far seems to be that IAC's travel sites will benefit from their natural synergy with search engines, of which Ask Jeeves is considered something of a player.

In reality, Diller is buying yet another weak, third-string broken-down business. Hardly the "Berkshire Hathaway" model so loudly touted by Miller and other Barry Diller acolytes.

It will be interesting to see how Miller--no dummy--reacts to this one.

Jeff Matthews
I'm Not Making This Up

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