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City & Business: Diller down if not out

BRITAIN has Kelvin MacKenzie. America has Barry Diller. Both were former Murdoch acolytes and henchmen. Both are now looking for work. The difference is that Diller will be an estimated dollars 100m richer after cashing in stock options from the home shopping group QVC - which on Friday succumbed to a bid from a grouping controlled by John Malone (profile, page 6).

It is all desperately disappointing for the super-ambitious Diller. First he was outmanoeuvred in his dollars 10.5bn bid for Paramount Communications. Now his plans for merging QVC with CBS, and heading the enlarged group, have been well and truly scuppered.

'Killer' Diller had an awesome reputation after turning round Twentieth Century Fox and transforming the fortunes of Fox TV. We haven't heard the last of him. But with two failures under his belt, he's looking distinctly fallible.