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Basically, business disputes often attract of attention of public and involve quite arguable issues because it is quite difficult to prove the fact of violation of laws in many cases. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that judges and the justice system at large should contribute to the solution of such disputes in order to stabilize the situation. In such a context, it is possible to refer the case of the business dispute between the IAC/InterActiveCorporation and the Liberty Media. Rita. K. Farrell in her article “Fate of the IAC dispute is now up to the judge” discusses the details of this dispute and attempts to present the position of both opposing parties.
In actuality, the essence of the conflict and business dispute between the IAC and the Liberty Media is provoked by the breach of information concerning the plans of the IAC. To put it more precisely, the Liberty Media, namely, its head, John C. Malone, argues that the CEO of the IAC, Barry Diller has violated an agreement with John Malone as the head of the Liberty Media when Barry Diller announced the plan to split the IAC into five companies. Basically, this announcement produced quite a negative impact on the position of the Liberty Media since it was crucial for the company to keep in secret the plans of the IAC in order to avoid the deterioration of the situation in the market for the Liberty Media, which actually followed after the information on the split of the IAC has been revealed. In such a situation, the parties attempt to defend their positions since John Malone stand on the ground of the violation of the agreement, while his opponent, rejects the accusations and attempts to convince the court and the public in his innocence.
In fact, speaking about the legal aspect of the dispute, it should be said that the dispute concerns the problem of the breach of information and the possible violation of the agreement. At the present moment, both parties expects for the decision, for the rule of the Vice Chancellor Stephen P. Lamb of Delaware Chancery Court, which actually should put the end to the business dispute between John Malone and Barry Diller. According to the agreement, Barry Diller votes 61,7% supervoting stake in the IAC through a proxy granted by John Malone and there is an exception that the IAC cannot take any action “outside the ordinary course of business” (Farrell, 2008). This is exactly where the agreement is considered to be violated.
At the moment, the issue is civil and basically it should be treated as civil because it is hardly possible to identify the violation of the agreement by Barry Diller as criminal. At any rate, it is necessary to solve the dispute and give a clear, legal interpretation of the actions of Barry Diller, i.e. it is necessary to define whether he has violated the agreement or probably there is no violation at all. After that it is necessary to take into consideration the outcomes of such actions of Barry Diller in relation to the Liberty Media and, depending on the outcomes, it will be possible to qualify his actions as criminal.
Anyway, it should be said that in the case of the violation of the agreement Barry Diller will be responsible for his actions.
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