Viacom Continues to Hold Out on Harmonix
On Tuesday, arbitrators reached the conclusion that Viacom (NYSE:VIAB) still owes former shareholders of Harmonix $383 million in addition to the $150 million that Viacom has already paid. The lawsuit stems from the 2006 purchase agreement between Viacom and Harmonix, where Viacom said it would purchase Harmonix for $175 million as well as pay shareholders bonuses based on the sales performance of Harmonix’s Rock Band video game co-developed with Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA).
Viacom did pay a $150 million bonus to Harmonix shareholders in 2007, but then asked for the money back the following year, claiming that it wasn’t making enough money off of the Rock Band game. Harmonix shareholders responded with a lawsuit asking for $700 million in bonuses in addition to the $150 million that had already been paid.
Though Tuesday’s ruling gives Harmonix $317 million less than what the shareholders asked for, Viacom says it has already filed a lawsuit “seeking to compel the resolution accountants to consider arguments and evidence that were improperly excluded and to vacate the determination of the resolution accountants on the grounds of manifest error,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. Viacom sold Harmonix a year ago for $50 million.