BSkyB sues EDS for £709m

The satellite broadcaster is seeking damages from the IT services company over an alleged failure to deliver a contract for a customer relationship management system

Broadcaster BSkyB is suing IT services company EDS for £709m. The trial started on Monday at the High Court.

The legal action relates to EDS's role as a supplier for BSkyB's customer relationship management (CRM) project between 2000 and 2002.

The broadcaster alleges deceit, negligent representation and breach of contract by EDS. "This trial is happening because EDS made fraudulent representations to secure a contract from BSkyB and failed to deliver its contractual obligations," a Sky spokesperson said. "We ended the relationship five years ago and went on to successfully complete the project to upgrade our customer management systems. It would be inappropriate to comment further while the trial is continuing."

In summer 2000, BSkyB selected EDS to manage a CRM project. The contract was to design, build and implement a CRM system at BSkyB's customer contact centres. Sources say that the contract was worth £48m, with a limited liability of £30m.

BSkyB terminated the relationship in March 2002. Sky Subscribers Services Limited (SSSL) assumed responsibility for the systems integration, which it completed in March 2006. In August 2004, BSkyB began the legal action against EDS. It is expected to finish in May 2008, and the judgement is expected in October 2008.

An EDS spokesperson said: "EDS will refute Sky's allegations through the course of the trial, and we will vigorously defend our position."