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  • Barry Diller no longer sees HSN Inc. as a pivotal asset of USA Interactive Inc., and he is interested in handing it off to another company to run.

    Diller said he doesn�t want to sell HSN outright, but he told investors at Salmon Smith Barney Inc.�s annual media conference, "We are open to joint-venturing HSN if there�s something interesting for us to do."

    HSN was once the core of what is now USAi, but Diller is far more interested in his Internet-based "transaction" businesses: online travel agencies Expedia Inc. and Hotels.com L.P., plus ticket sales operation Ticketmaster.

    Diller said he wants to retain HSN�s Web retail arm, HSN.com (http://www.hsn.com/ ), which he sees as his avenue to challenge Amazon.com Inc. and eBay Inc. as the dominant forces in Internet retailing.

    But as for the cable network, he�d be happy handing it over to a partner like an established retailer. "We don�t have to control it, we do have to stay in it," Diller said.

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    Likely the "Bald One" has concluded HSN is not likely to overtake QVC anytime soon....
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    • A JV between HSN/QVC eliminates themajor direct coompetitor for each. No FTC issues whatsoever as both are small potatoes in the retail scheme of things. Cost reduction by comobining back ends will be significant as well. Deal will be mutually beneficial and will be done IMO. A very active year on all fronts awaits USAI.

    • I fail to see why QVC would want to jeopardize its current performance by diluting that performance with subpar performance of HSN. (HSN compared to QVC only...not suggesting HSN is sup-par)

      BD still talks of launching a travel channel in next 6-9 months...that is not gonna happen with QVC for same reasons.

      A HSN/QVC combi is also frought with all sorts of potential anti-trust/FCC regs.

      If HSN/QVC are to work together...it will involve VVM. Think chances are higher however that either QVC alone or HSN alone work something out with VVM....and NBC will be involved whatever form it takes.

      Regards

    • Diller was merely -posturing- for the pending negotiations with CMCSA & L regarding QVC. He IS that clever, as we both know. The part about "the daily discipline of measuring your effectiveness minute by minute that HSN provides".... gave him away. The bigger the business he can transition from offline to online the better....IMO he will be very, very delighted to control the combined QVC/HSN....it's what he lives for.

      QVC will sell some stock to the public concurrent with the combination with HNS...In that way none of the principals puts up any money but all improve the quality and the liquidity of their investment......Regards.

      • 1 Reply to ickypicky77379
      • No doubt it is posturing by BD who has been mesmerized by the "effectiveness minute by minute that HSN provides"...initially learned when BD was at the helm of QVC.

        An HSN/QVC combi of sorts, while certainly possible, is diminished by the fact BD has not to date suggested such a large combi were in the plans.

        Another consideration is an HSN/VVM combi that cedes control to NBC....and opens up the world of broadcast TV to many things USAi.

        Seems that sort of combi would allow many things to move forward at HSN/USAi...including strengthening HSN ability to one day catch QVC; leverage VVM distribution for USA Travel Channel; and leverage HSN scale and expertise to help ShopNBC more quickly ramp up EBITDA.

        From a strategic view...is brings USAi and NBC closer.

 
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