Vivendi Takes Diller to Court Over US Unit

19 March 2004

Vivendi Universal has begun legal action against InterActiveCorp, the web firm owned by US media mogul Barry Diller.

The French group wants the court's blessing to swap certain covenants relating to its Vivendi Universal Entertainment unit for a letter of credit to IAC.

The current ownership structure of VUE, which houses Vivendi's US entertainment businesses, is extremely complex. IAC holds around 7% of the company, and attached to its stock are covenants giving Diller's firm a say in what happens to the assets.

Replacing these covenants would reduce Diller's power to interfere with disposals by VUE and smooth the path towards the unit's merger with American TV giant NBC. IAC, however, has so far rejected Vivendi's proposals.

Data sourced from: Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff