Freeserve is in discussion with an unidentified company hoping to buy the UK-based ISP.

A Freeserve spokesman said: "There are talks going on, though we have not confirmed any partner or timetable for the deal."

Both the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal speculate that France Telecom's ISP subsidiary, Wanadoo is trying to buy Freeserve from the its parent company, Dixon's. The reports speculate that such a deal could be worth £1.8 billion.

Last June, Freeserve confirmed it had talked with Germany's T-Online International, among other potential suitors, about a merger bid though talks eventually broke down.