Harmonix-Viacom legal battle

SOUR NOTE: Former shareholders of Harmonix, maker of Rock Band, have sued parent company Viacom, alleging that the media giant is trying to cheat them out of hundreds of millions of dollars owed under the terms of Viacom's 2006 acquisition of the videogame company, the Wall Street Journal reports. Viacom is seeking to sell Harmonix, having recently decided to cut its losses on Rock Band as the videogame industry suffers from a sales slowdown. The two sides have engaged an independent arbitrator in the dispute, and Viacom claims it is now owed a refund for nearly all of the $150 million it has already paid to former Harmonix shareholders in performance-related liabilities. Viacom acquired Harmonix for $175 million plus potential future payments based on performance. (12/22a)

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