Viacom files $131M suit against former Harmonix shareholders
by Steve Watts, shacknews.com, Sep 21, 2011 8:45AM PDT
Viacom has filed suit against the former stockholders of Harmonix, seeking $131 million to make good on miscalculated payments from 2007. The suit alleges that the company was given $150 million for performance-based payouts, but the company only generated an earn-out payment of $18 million. Viacom is seeking to be refunded for the remaining cost.
Gamasutra reports that the company claims the shareholders "are not entitled" to the full payout amount. But the shareholders have already argued just the opposite: they filed suit against Viacom last year, claiming they were never paid for the 2008 bonuses, after the Rock Band franchise brought in over $1 billion through 2008 and the first quarter of 2009. The suit alleges that Viacom negotiated fees with EA to benefit itself rather than Harmonix shareholders, and that it is still owed money from a held account that was pending the resolution of patent suits. That case is still pending.
For its part, Viacom already has some money in its coffers -- selling Harmonix off earlier this year gave the company a tax benefit of roughly $115 million. So you know, they're not exactly begging for change.