Feeds

Tiscali chief plots sell-off

Succumbing to cheapskate fatigue

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Tiscali customers and employees can look forward to more turmoil in the next two years. The Italian-owned group's boss Tommaso Pompei says he's expecting to sell up to rivals as it struggles to compete with richer players in the broadband market.

Up until now, Tiscali has been a predator in the ISP consolidation game, snapping up Pipex customers and IPTV outfit Home Choice. That's set to change soon, Pompei told the Financial Times today, predicting a second wave of takeovers that he expects to be part of - as prey.

He insisted that Tiscali is not for sale, but said the ongoing squeeze on margins makes the firm vulnerable. Its share price slid 20 per cent last year.

The comments will be viewed by the industry as a call for takeover approaches. There are no ongoing negotiations at the moment, Pompei said.

Carphone Warehouse seems a natural suitor in the UK, standing in third place for customer numbers behind BT and Virgin Media and ahead of Tiscali, Orange and Sky. Carphone is the only member of the top six - who control almost 95 per cent of the broadband market - to lack a television offering.

Pompei said his primary aim is to turn a profit this year; a feat Tiscali has never achieved in its ten-year history. In the UK, the goal has meant customer lines being migrated to its unbundled network infrastructure to cut the cash it pays BT Wholesale to resell IPStream ADSL access. It also fired hundreds of Pipex's UK call centre staff soon after it bought the firm's broadband business.

The unbundling effort has meant other ambitions, such as its IPTV project, have been sidelined. The last company results showed TV subscriptions falling and forced a PR offensive to set new aggressive targets.

UK subscribers have been feeling the impact of Tiscali's attempts to save money this week through other cost-cutting initiatives. It botched a software upgrade aimed at reducing its bandwidth costs. The ongoing cockup has cut customers off from many internet services and slowed others to sub-dial-up speeds. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.