Tiscali shares were given a boost today on the Italian stock exchange by reports that it is once again close to a deal to offload its UK operation to Carphone Warehouse. Tiscali has been trying to sell its almost 1.8m subscribers for over a year, and Carphone Warehouse has been named as a suitor throughout. Italian papers said today its interest was renewed. A deal would see Carphone Warehouse leapfrog Virgin Media to become the country's second largest broadband provider behind BT. Sky and Vodafone reportedly pulled out of acquisition talks with Tiscali after balking at its £550m asking price. On Friday The Telegraph said Carphone Warehouse was now offering about £200m. Tiscali's Italian owners now need the cash urgently to service its massive debts. Bankers agreed to suspend interest payments earlier this month to allow it to sort out its finances. Soon after, auditors refused to validate Tiscali's annual accounts, citing fears it might go titsup.
Anyone who hasn't followed this saga may be forgiven if they think that Carphone Warehouse taking over Tiscali could be classed as a good thing. Those that have either helped in the WinMX help room, or just sat on the sidelines and watched, will be fully aware that these are probably two of the worst ISPs for giving users a poor service. Both are notorious for the amount of throttling that they do. A few of their terms and conditions are also a little suspect. Combining the failings of both ISPs in to one body will probably be nothing to cheer about. I doubt that any p2p users will be cheering at the prospect.