It has been reported that Denis O'Brien is mounting a bid to buy Eircom's fixed line business. The magazine, Business and Finance, says that it is believed to depend on Eircom selling its mobile phone subsidiary, Eircell, to the leading British company, Vodafone. Business and Finance described the possible bid as one of the most daring and audacious in Irish corporate history.

In a separate development, the Mirror Group of Newspapers has said that it is delighted with today's Supreme Court judgement overturning a High Court jury's decision to award £250,000 to Mr O'Brien, who was libelled by the Irish Mirror. A retrial on the issue of damages only has been ordered. The verdict was not affected.

In the majority decision of the court this morning, the Chief Justice said that the award was disproportionately high and should be set aside. The Mirror had alleged that Mr O'Brien had paid £30,000 to the former Minister for Communications, Ray Burke, to secure a radio licence for 98FM. Mr O'Brien denied the allegations.