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By | Christopher Williams 23rd October 2007 10:16

EDS beagles blast 'absurd' BSkyB

Murdoch and the wizard's sleeve

Lawyers for outsourcing omnicorp EDS branded BSkyB's claim for £709m damages over a customer management system contract "absurd and extravagant" in the High Court yesterday.

The deal, inked in 2000, was meant to cost the broadcaster £48m. The installation eventually took six years to complete and cost £265m.

When the trial kicked off last week, BSkyB said EDS had won the contract by lying, and then failed to deliver on its promises.

EDS QC Mark Barnes said BSkyB had brought the damages claim because it wanted to dodge paying the contract. The "artificial claim" was "the one sure way" to avoid it, The Financial Times reports he said.

Over the course of the deal, new requirements "kept on emerging like handkerchiefs from a magician's sleeve", Barnes added. "They knew they wanted a super-duper system, but had little idea beyond that."

BSkyB says its claim for damages, one of the biggest ever in technology and construction court, reflects the overspend and business benefits lost by delays. ®

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