Tiscali in line for heavy job cuts after Homechoice buy

Tiscali has started a major shake-up of its business following the acquisition of Homechoice last month, with staff across the company having to reapply for their jobs.

The scale of the changes is believed to have surprised people inside the company, with staff in both Homechoice and Tiscali unhappy about the changes.

There are no redundancies expected immediately and it is not clear how many will be made as a result of the review.

A Tiscali spokeswoman refused to indicate how many jobs might be affected. She says: “We have begun the process of integrating our businesses. There is some overlap in functions and therefore we have begun the process of consulting with employees who are affected.”

Tiscali has grown through a succession of takeovers, which include World Online, LibertySurf and LineOne. A large number of staff have survived previous changes and had expected to do so again. It was thought that any job losses would be among former Homechoice staff, although both will now be affected.

Earlier this month, Marketing Week revealed that Tesco was testing an own-branded digital TV service on Homechoice (MW September 7). It was thought that the Tiscali acquisition had helped the deal because it would allow Homechoice to expand nationally. Similar deals are expected with other brands in the UK in the future.

Tiscali Group chief executive Tommaso Pompei is also keen to move the Homechoice technology into other markets, principally its home market of Italy.

Tiscali, which has 1.3 million customers in the UK, is relatively small compared to rivals such as BT and Orange. There has been speculation that it could be a target for takeover in the UK, although Tiscali insists it is not planning to sell its UK division.

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