Mobile carrier Vodafone is nearing a bid to acquire Italian broadband service provider Tiscali, according to several published reports out of the U.K. today. Tiscali has been trying to sell off some of its properties, including IPTV operations in Italy and in the U.K. market. Fellow Italian service provider FastWeb reportedly had been considered a candidate to acquire the assets in the U.K., but FastWeb owner Swisscom denied that interest. What Swisscom had not decided yet was whether or not it to make a bid for Tiscali's home market IPTV properties in Italy.
Is the Vodafone bid imminent? Will Swisscom and FastWeb still try to get into the mix to stop Vodafone from building a stronger base in Italy? We could presume that most of Vodafone's interest lies in Tiscali's U.K. group, but Vodafone also already owns Tele2 operations in Italy, and if it buys all of Tiscali, it could become a competitive wireline broadband powerhouse there.