BSkyB has won its five-year legal battle against Electronic Data Systems (EDS) after a High Court judge ruled it had lied to Sky in order to secure a contract as part of a new customer relationship management system.
Justice Ramsey said EDS, acquired in 2008 by the US computer giant Hewlett Packard, was liable of fraudulent misrepresentation. Sky was originally seeking £709 million in damages from the EDS contract that had an original value of £48 million. The time to judgment is one of the most protracted in recent history; during the lifetime of the case one of the EDS legal representatives retired and another became a QC.
The background to the action goes back to the summer of 2000, when Sky appointed EDS to design, build and implement an advanced customer service system at its customer contact centres in Livingston and Dunfermline, Scotland.
But the relationship was ended in early 2002 after EDS failed to meet its contractual obligations. Sky Subscribers Services Limited (SSSL) assumed direct control for the systems integration and completed the project itself in March 2006. The legal action against EDS commenced in August 2004 with the trial running between October 2007 and July 2008.
In a statement Hewlett Packard put on a brave face and described the action as a legacy issue. “We’re pleased the court dismissed the majority of the allegations made. While we accept that the contract was problematic, HP strongly maintains EDS did nothing to deceive BSkyB. HP will be seeking permission to appeal.”