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Viacom Told to Pay Hundreds of Millions to ‘Rock Band’ Developer Harmonix

It’s looking grim for Viacom in a dispute over payments to former Harmonix shareholders. This court battle seems to demand more attention given the newfound appetite for M&A in the entertainment sector and the amount of money at stake for the media conglomerate.

On Tuesday, a Delaware Supreme Court affirmed what both an arbitrator and a Delaware Circuit Judge had previously said — that Viacom owes $299 million (plus interest) in “earn-outs” to the individuals who once controlled Harmonix, the video game company that produced the Rock Band and Guitar Hero games.

Viacom has been battling this issue in court since an arbitrator’s ruling in December 2011 and, according to the company’s last quarterly filing, has recorded a reserve of $321 million as of March 31, 2013, reflecting an uncertain tax position over the possible payment. The options to escape the payment could be dwindling.

Read the full story: Billboard