EDS and BSkyB Suing Each Other

BSkyB are suing EDS over a contract for a new IT system at the broadcaster’s Livingston and Dunfermline call centres, accusing them of negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.

BSkyB hired EDS in 2000 to supply a new customer service platform for the 6000 staff in the centres, but ran into difficulties in the first twelve months. After redefining the project requirements, the system was handed over to BSkyB a year later in 2002, and the contract ended in December that year as BSkyB felt that EDS could not deliver the system in accordance with their contract. However, EDS claim that they ended the contract, not BSkyB.

A quick rummage in a filing cabinet should end that debate, though BSkyB claim to have consulted some 50,000 documents to come to the conclusion that EDS did not deliver what they signed up for.

The system has cost BSkyB about UK£170 million since 2000, and they are expected to fork out another UK£50 million to the two Scottish call centres until 2008. The broadcaster is now looking to sue for about UK£180 million to UK£240 million to get back lost revenue and effort.

EDS aren’t doing to well lately, having lost a number of high profile government contracts, notably with the Child Support Agency, NHS and Inland Revenue.

EDS have announced that they will be countersuing, as they claimed to be expecting this sort of behaviour from BSkyB. Given the size of the two companies and the nature of corporate litigation, this one will run and run.



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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?