BSkyB’s £450 Million Puts It Head Of Tiscali’s Chasing Pack

It may be another antitrust case waiting to happen – BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) is now the leading contender for buying Tiscali’s UK ISP, edging Carphone Warehouse in negotiations, a source tells, with the Sunday Times estimating its offer at £450 million. An acquisition like that would marry Tiscali’s 2.4 million subscribers with Sky’s 1.79 million and, more importantly, would herald further consolidation at the top of Britain’s fast-shrinking ISP market, its 3.6 million laying just behind Carphone and Virgin on 3.8 million. Sky, for its part, sees broadband (and VOD) as the main growers, with pay-TV subs threatened by a consumer spending downturn. It already bought easynet a few years ago but is still making big losses on its infrastructure investment. But what chance Ofcom and the OFT taking an interest?

One deal Sky won’t be doing, however – it’s pulled out of the running for Spanish pay-TV operator Digital Plus, which would have cost a hefty