IAC/InterActiveCorp said it will spend $100 million on a new Internet business in China, and plans to introduce its Ask.com search engine to the market, too. The company's CEO, Barry Diller, told reporters that he'd like to bring Ask.com to China within the next 2 years, while a new business to operate a media and advertising website could debut within the year.
Diller noted that the new investment would be a gamble, but said, We've certainly got enough capital to do some damage. IACI has already invested $200 million in China, which boasts the world's second-largest Internet user base of 162 million. Diller heads up the company's 30 Internet-based businesses, including Match.com, and he plans to explore the possibility of introducing an online gambling site to China.
IACI shares spiked earlier this month after the company announced its intention to split into 5 separate companies. The shares of IACI are trading back at their pre-split-announcement levels now, ricocheting between the 27 and 28 levels and sitting on a loss of about 1% today. Option traders have cheered the firm's new divide-and-conquer strategy, though; Schaeffer's put/call open interest ratio is 0.56, which ranks lower than 84% of other such readings taken during the past year.