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Viacom ordered to pay Harmonix $383 million

When Rock Band dev Harmonix and former owner Viacom argued over who exactly owed whom bonus money, resolution accountants were called in. After a rummage in the books, the jointly-appointed arbitrator has decided that Viacom owes Harmonix $383 million.

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When Rock Band developer and its former owner Viacom argued over who exactly owed whom money from bonuses, resolution accountants were called in to sort out the mess.

Former Harmonix shareholders sued Viacom in December 2010, alleging that they were owed substantial bonuses. In retaliation, Viacom counter-sued, saying that the shareholders actually ought to repay Viacom $131 million of the $150 million they received in 2007. Viacom had promised performance-based bonuses for that year and the next when it bought bought Harmonix, but only paid out once. It claimed that only around $18 million had ever been owed.

After a good rummage in the books, the jointly-appointed arbitrator has decided that Viacom owes Harmonix $383 million, Gamasutra reports. Viacom's unsurprisingly displeased with this, and yesterday filed suit claiming that the accounting firm had made a "manifest error," asking that it "consider arguments and evidence that were improperly excluded."

Viacom offloaded Harmonix in December 2010, selling the studio back to itself, reportedly for only $49.99. It wasn't a seamless transition, with layoffs striking in February 2011, but Harmonix is now working on "multiple new music games" beyond its Rock Band and Dance Central franchises.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    December 28, 2011 6:45 AM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Viacom ordered to pay Harmonix $383 million.

    When Rock Band dev Harmonix and former owner Viacom argued over who exactly owed whom bonus money, resolution accountants were called in. After a rummage in the books, the jointly-appointed arbitrator has decided that Viacom owes Harmonix $383 million.

    • reply
      December 28, 2011 6:51 AM

      If this judgement holds, the HMX-investor-based group that bought HMX from Viacom for $50.00 + unsold back inventory and outstanding music licensing fee just finagled one of the best sales in a long time.

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        December 28, 2011 9:10 AM

        It can be pretty hard to get a court to overturn an agreed to arbitration, so it will probably stand.

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      December 28, 2011 6:52 AM

      Nope, jointly appointed arbitrator is wrong, too! *tantrum*

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      December 28, 2011 7:42 AM

      itt alex rigopulos makes it rain

      • reply
        December 28, 2011 11:44 AM

        Hot fuchsia leather jackets for EVERYONE!

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          December 28, 2011 1:38 PM

          You *have* seen some of the HMX videos yes?

          This is entirely a possibility.

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            December 28, 2011 3:56 PM

            Of course, what do you think I'm referencing?

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      December 28, 2011 10:41 AM

      Lol whoever made the decision to sell them for 50$ I bet is gonna get an ass kicking.

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      December 28, 2011 1:17 PM

      Tough shit loser, what part of "jointly appointed arbitrator" dont you get?

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      December 28, 2011 2:36 PM

      awesome. I love Harmonix and hope the judge tells Viacom to go cry some more.

      I have a Kinect at my house over the christmas holidays, and absolutely LOVE Dance Central 2. Some of the moves make me look like a complete fairy, but goddamn it's fun.