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Tiscali Launches Legal Proceedings against BT
By: MarkJ - 23 July, 2008 (1:15 PM)

UK ISP Tiscali has officially launched legal proceedings against BT, claiming defamation and malicious falsehood. The move follows BT's somewhat questionable attempts to use Tiscali's troubled sale as a tool in one of its recent marketing letters (original news and letter). Speaking to Samknows, a spokeswoman for Tiscali UK issued the following statement:

"In a letter to us, BT has disputed the claim. The next stage is for us to file a further court document and we will then learn the terms on which BT intends to defend the claim, if at all," said Tiscali UKs Spokeswoman.

BT itself has said that it completely refutes Tiscali's allegations and believes that its letter represented a "legitimate and reasonable business practice". Consumers have also questioned how the operator was able to contact them in the first place, although BT claims to only use "reputable external sources" for gathering such information, whatever that means.

Meanwhile Arash Amel, an analyst with research group Screen Digest, has told BBC News Online that such actions are a result of the UKs aggressively competitive market:

"The standalone ISP business model is looking increasingly shaky. For every gigabyte of data customers use the bigger the costs for ISPs and their small profits start to disappear," he said. He believes only firms with other businesses, such as Sky and CarphoneWarehouse, can survive long-term.

However, in one of our own surveys last year we question readers on whether they preferred "a standalone broadband package or bundle?" (here). Interestingly just over 77% said they would rather have a standalone service.

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