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Fujitsu Services is taking CSC Computer Science to court in the UK over breach of contract.

The Japanese services firm is suing its American rival for £7.6m, "or alternatively damages in like amount for breach of contract, or alternatively quantum meruit or constitution," said the legal claim, filed with the Royal Courts of Justice in London on January 10.

Industry observers speculated that their spat might have something to do with the NHS's multi-billion pound National Programme for IT, in which both firms are Local Service Providers - lead contractors - for different parts.

The tangled web of subcontracts operated by the consortium leaders could well include mutual arrangements between leads, not the least because of the severe shortage of skilled staff suffered by key suppliers and the industry at large when the LSPs were trying to establish themselves.

However, recent changes to Britain's court system prevent the publication of any more court records than the basic details we have already been provided.

Both firms refused to comment. ®

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