BSkyB wins £200m case against EDS

RUPERT Murdoch’s satellite broadcaster BSkyB has won a five-year legal wrangle with Electronic Data Systems over an ill-fated IT project.

In a decision that could see EDS forced to pay out more than £200m, a judge said EDS lied to Sky to secure a contract to work on the company’s overhaul of its customer service system in 2000.

The software installation at Sky’s contact centres in Scotland was supposed to cost £48m. The job took six years to complete at a cost of £265m, Sky said, with the two companies parting ways in 2002.

Justice Vivian Ramsey is understood to have ruled in Sky’s favour in one of five charges. In a statement, Sky said the judgement found EDS guilty of “deceit, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract”.

US technology titan Hewlett Packard, which took over EDS in 2008, said it would seek permission to appeal the verdict. A HP spokesperson said: “This is a legacy issue, dating back to the EDS business in 2000… While we accept the contract was problematic, HP strongly maintains EDS did nothing to deceive BSkyB.”

When the case began in 2004, Sky sought £700m in compensation. Yesterday the firm said it expected to be handed a minimum of £200m when the court meets to decide costs and damages next month.