There was a time in UK broadband when it was the smaller providers with 200,000 or less customers that were seen as the prime takeover targets, but now that economies of scale are the big thing even large providers like Tiscali and Carphone Warehouse appear to have an unsettled future.
We reported yesterday that Tiscali had said no to the Carphone Warehouse offer for Tiscali, but it seems Tiscali has not formerly told Carphone Warehouse this, so they may still be in the running.
"We have not heard anything from Tiscali, so as far as we are concerned we are still in the game,...
We are regarding the reports as speculative."Carphone Warehouse spokesman talking to The Independent
The Independent article also suggests that Orange may be the next big acquisition target among the remaining large players.
Analysts quoted in The Financial Times suggest that if Carphone Warehouse is sidelined at such an early stage of the bidding that it may itself become a target for acquisition.
With the number of large providers shrinking there is a real danger that the business plans of one or two providers will influence regulatory bodies to the point where a single companies interests are catered for rather than looking at the much wider market which still has hundreds of smaller providers. The needs of consumers and small businesses coming a distant third.