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Rock Band 3

Viacom Loses its Lawsuit Against Harmonix, Must Pay Out $299 Million

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Having acquired Harmonix back in September 2006 as part of its MTV Networks subsidiary, before subsequently selling the developer off in 2010, Viacom has found itself losing a year-long court dispute against the Rock Band studio surrounding $299 million in unpaid bonuses owed. The Delaware Supreme Court ruled against Viacom, demanding that the bonuses be paid.

The case of Viacom v. Winshall (the defendant representing Harmonix's former shareholders) has been ongoing since an arbitrator's ruling in December 2011. The company's last quarterly filing recorded a reserve of $321 million as of March 31st, 2013, and reflected a difficult position as far as a possible payment might be concerned.

Viacom's remaining options include appealing the decision to the US Supreme Court or hoping the ruling is reconsidered, otherwise the decision will stand. Viacom paid $150m in bonuses to Harmonix in 2007, determining that shareholders were owed nothing in 2008. The calculation was disputed by Winshall and in December 2011 it transpired that Viacom owed Harmonix $383 million.

Agreeing to pay $84 million towards the 2007 bonuses, the companies went to court over the $299 million, which Viacom must now pay in full to Harmonix following the court's ruling. Harmonix is currently working on Fantasia: Music Evolved exclusively for Kinect on Xbox 360 and Xbox One.

[Via Hollywood Reporter]


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US October 26, 2010
Europe October 29, 2010

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