What Else Might Barry Diller Buy?

By Timothy J. Mullaney

Orbitz: Sound crazy? Maybe not. Diller offered $700 million for the airline-owned online travel agency in early 2002, one Street analyst says. The mogul confirms an overture but not the number or the analyst's claim that Diller gave Orbitz a letter of intent. Orbitz is in registration to go public now, aiming for a market cap of $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion. But the IPO's critics say the five airlines that own Orbitz force it to charge suppliers too little, hurting its profitability. Whether the IPO will fly is an open question. The deal between Orbitz and the airlines would have to be reworked to make Orbitz interest IAC much.

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