Viacom Sues Over Ruling It Owes $383 Million on Rock Band

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Litigious Viacom filed a lawsuit to change a decision that it owed the former shareholders of Harmonix, the maker of Rock Band, another $383 million.
The money was owed under the 2006 agreement under which Viacom acquired Harmonix for $175 million, according to the resolution accountants employed as part of a private dispute resolution process. The determination was issued on Dec. 19.
In a filing Tuesday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Viacom said Harmonix shareholders were seeking $700 million as part of an earn-out arrangement. Nonetheless, Viacom said it was filing its new suit Tuesday because it wanted the Delaware Court of Chancery 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."
Viacom earlier this year had taken other legal action to reduce the earn outs already paid to the Harmonix shareholders. Under Viacom, the Rock Band franchise fizzled and it sold the operation for $50 in January in a move that created tax savings of about $50 million, according to the company.
Viacom said that pending the outcome of its suit, the payments ordered by the resolution accountants will be reflected in its first fiscal quarter as part of its discontinued operations.

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