ISP LineOne's sale price is now less than half what BT wanted for it.

The amount expected to be raised by the sale of ISP LineOne has dropped considerably since BT and United Business Media first put it up for sale last year.

The asking price has fallen from £250m to around £80-100m - less than half the original figure - according to reports in the Financial Times.

LineOne was unwilling to comment about the price crash. The drop may be due to the risky and highly competitive dotcom market or the continual decline of dotcom share values.

But it could also be because BT is facing a massive debt arising from multiple acquisitions including 3G mobile telecomms licenses. Companies could be wondering if they can make BT sweat the price down still further.

Tiscali, an Italian ISP that has purchased over a dozen compnies in the last 18 months, and Wanadoo, the French ISP, which bought Freeserve, are frontrunners to buy LineOne.

Many other potential buyers have stayed away.