US information technology provider EDS has described the court action launched against it by BSkyB as “absurd and extravagant”. Company lawyers told the High Court the DTH platform had only brought the £709 million (€947m) claim in a bid to escape a £48m contract it has awarded to EDS in 2000 for the building of a customer care centre.
The case, which is likely to run for several months, is one of the largest ever seen in London’s technology and construction court. It is all the more notable because of the number of international firms involved in the case. These include Lucent and Chordiant Software, which were part of the EDS consortium, and PwC who advised BSkyB on the progress of EDS having earlier made its own bid for the contract.
Mark Barnes, QC for EDS said the charge of deception was not levelled until well after the emergence of the problems. Barnes said that BSkyB had little idea of what it wanted from EDS resulting in new requirements emerging “like handkerchiefs from a magician’s sleeve”.
The case continues.