The world wide web is awash with rumours today, notably the whispers that US retailer Best Buy could be after a whole host of UK electronics chains including Dixons, Currys and Comet.

And it seems the British company it already half owns,
The Carphone Warehouse, has also been keeping busy.

The speculation that it was going to bid for the UK operations of broadband provider, Tiscali, has today proved true.

The Carphone Warehouse has laid £550m on the table just days after its £1bn deal with Best Buy.

The bid is for Tiscali's UK operations only and, if successful, will add to the portfolio that already includes TalkTalk and AOL UK.

Tiscali made it clear that it was looking for a buyer for the business in March, and BT is rumoured to have been another potential suitor.

Tiscali has two million broadband customers in the UK.

If this figure is added to the subscribers already signed up to TalkTalk and AOL, The Carphone Warehouse will become the UK's biggest broadband provider.

UPDATE: Carphone Warehouse's offer has since been rejected as too low.

Tiscali, which has a market value of around £1.13 billion, has now excluded the retailer from the first stage of bidding.

Potential bidders remaining are rumoured to include Vodafone Group and BSkyB in the UK as well as Wind, the Italian mobile operator, and Swisscom, the owners of Italian broadband provider Fastweb.

"Until now, the process has been going exactly as expected. In the definition of the shortlist, we have not considered those who did not realise the industrial value of the group," said Tiscali CEO Mario Rosso.

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