OFT to Rule on Pipex deal with Tiscali

The recently announced tie-up between Pipex and Tiscali could be delayed after the Office of Fair Trading announced a probe. The OFT is inviting comment from interested parties by 3 August and is expected to rule on the takeover two weeks later.

The proposed £210 million deal between Pipex, Britain’s sixth biggest broadband provider, and Tiscali could face a significant delay the OFT announced that it is to investigate the tie-up between the two rivals for any potential competition issues.

The Time reported today that if the OFT is unhappy the trade watchdog could impose certain conditions on the merger. Ultimately it could refer the deal on to the Competition Commission.

Pipex, which is chaired by the internet millionaire Peter Dubens, announced two weeks ago that it had reached agreement to sell off its one million consumer and small business voice and broadband base to its Italian rival.

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