Siemens to Buy BBC Technology

Siemens Business Services (SBS) has been announced as the BBC’s single preferred bidder for its Technology division. There are a few hurdles yet to go – the deal is still subject to approval by BBC governors, the Secretary of State for Culture, media and Sport and needs to be cleared by the European Commission under EC Merger Regulations.

Once approved, the contract will run for ten years and is worth up to UK£2 billion (€3 billion).

The BBC is hoping that SBS will provide skills and expertise to reach its goals over those ten years, as well as substantial cost savings, estimated to be at least UK£20 – 30 million (€30 – €45 million). The corporation has been considering selling off its technology division for at least the last ten years, and, having finally done so represents a further slimming down of the corporation. The last big sell off of this type was a few years ago when the BBC disposed of properties to Land Securities Trillium – this of course gave rise to the Legend of the £50 Lightbulb Replacement Fee.

With a staff of 1400 and turnover of UK£230 million (€344 million), BBC Technology has a number of high-profile customers outside the corporation, including BSkyB, DirectTV, ESPN and Hutchinson 3G.

BBC Technology

Siemens Business Services

Published by

Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?