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Name switch at USAI

InterActiveCorp moniker reflects Web focus

This article was corrected on June 23, 2003.

What’s in a name?

Plenty if you’re Internet mogul Barry Diller.

Determined to distance himself from a lingering hint of entertainment aspiration, Diller is redubbing USA Interactive as InterActiveCorp effective Monday.

Tightening focus

Name change follows a transformational year for Diller’s interactive services conglom and comes as shareholders seek reassurance that the company is truly focused on online and transactional pursuits and not dabbling with thoughts of investing further in Universal.

In the last few months, USAI has forked out some $5 billion in cash and stock to take control of Expedia, Hotels.com and, most recently, online mortgage provider LendingTree.

“We began as (TV station group) Silver King, and over these last eight years, as we built the company up, we changed the corporate name several times to reflect our leading business interests,” chairman Diller said, noting that the USA name was kept after it contributed its entertainment assets to the joint venture with Vivendi in 2002, partly to keep confusion to a minimum during the transition.

Rebranded

Diller said now that the company has a clearly articulated business strategy to be the world’s largest and most profitable interactive commerce company through a multibrand strategy, it was time to find a more appropriate name.

The fate of USAI’s remaining 5.5% stake in Vivendi Universal Entertainment remains uncertain until offers for the assets are reviewed over the coming weeks.

USAI’s Nasdaq stock market trading ticker symbol will change to IACI on Monday.