- ‘Tis the Season: London florist creates $4.6 million Christmas wreath
- No tailgating allowed at Super Bowl XLVIII
- Pentagon to transport African troops to Central African Republic
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend’s shopping jumps to his death
- Ukraine leader to talk with protesters; Washington urges caution
- Pope Francis: A nun saved my life
- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sci-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
Barry Diller ‘dismayed’ at government’s handling of his Coca-Cola acquisition
The creator of Fox Broadcasting Co. agreed this week to pay a $480,000 civil penalty to settle charges he violated premerger reporting requirements in acquiring voting securities of the Coca-Cola Co., saying Wednesday he was “dismayed” by the government’s handling of the case.
“While I do not dispute the facts the Federal Trade Commission chose to selectively highlight in their press release regarding my agreement to pay a fine for the purchase of Coca-Cola shares, I was dismayed at what they failed to say,” Barry Diller said.
“I chose to settle this matter rather than pursue the time and expense of a court challenge because the FTC agreed to accept a small fraction of the fines that their theory, if accurate, would have entitled them to,” he said. “In fact, I am told that the amount I agreed to pay is one of the smallest percentages the FTC has settled for with respect to purported violations.”
The media mogul said he thought the FTC would explain why it agreed to such a small settlement, but because it did not, it was important that the relevant facts were noted.
Mr. Diller said the original infraction cited by the FTC was a technical failure to file by USA Networks in 1998 in connection with a transaction that initially was below the thresholds of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976. Once USA Networks discovered that the transaction value had increased during the process, he said the company “promptly notified the FTC, and filed immediately thereafter at the FTCs‘ request.”
With regard to the Coca-Cola purchases, Mr. Diller said he made those in his personal capacity and was not aware of the necessity to file. But, he said, he did so after becoming aware of the requirement and did so “promptly.”
“I gained no advantage of any kind and there was no harm to Coca-Cola shareholders, nor to anyone else,” he said. “While I am surely not suffering, one can fairly question the tactics used by the FTC in penalizing individuals for de minimis open market share purchases and inadvertent paper shuffling.”
The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, at the request of the FTC, filed a civil antitrust lawsuit against Mr. Diller in U.S. District Court in Washington, saying he violated the notification requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. At the same time, the department filed a proposal that, if approved by the court, will settle the charges.
At the time of Mr. Diller’s violations, his holdings ranged from $63.4 million to $68.2 million and are currently $70.9 million, the Justice Department said.
Mr. Diller, 71, a billionaire, is the chairman and a senior executive of IAC/InterActiveCorp, a giant media and Internet company with more than 150 brands and products.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Jerry Seper is the investigative editor for The Washington Times.
- With bombs away, drug traffickers and illegal immigrants make their play
- Medical-device company exec admits to bilking shareholders of $400M
- Justice Dept: Florida's disabled children unnecessarily put in nursing facilities
- Man gets 11 years in Philadelphia mob crackdown
- Eric Holder asks for respect from protesters of George Zimmerman verdict
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Chinese man fed up with his girlfriend's shopping jumps to his death
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- MILLER: Brady Campaign says Colorado recalls due to NRA, not grassroots opposition to gun control
- Mike Shanahan says he'd like to return; RG3 might be benched
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The world impacts us. What happens in our towns, cities, states, country and on this planet makes a difference to us.
Happiness is attainable. Morning to night. I love to teach, deal with folks that have an issue and really wish to tackle it and write.
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow