Accountant Claims Viacom Owes $383 Million to Harmonix Shareholders

Accountant Claims Viacom Owes $383 Million to Harmonix Shareholders

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After a lengthy "who owes whom" dispute over Rock Band profits, a jointly-appointed accountant has determined that Harmonix shareholders are owed quite a bit of money.

In somewhat of a surprising twist to an ongoing legal tussle, a neutral third-party number wizard has determined that Viacom owes some serious scratch to the former Harmonix shareholders, not the other way around. To garner a better understanding of what's happened, perhaps a little background is needed.

In September of 2011, Viacom chose to sue the shareholders of Harmonix (including the company's founders, Alex Rigopulos and Eran Egozy) for nearly 90% of the $150 million it had paid out in performance-based Rockband bonuses in 2007. Viacom had originally paid out the money based on what it's now claiming to be "preliminary calculations." Well, I'm not sure who's handling the books over there, but the final amount actually owed turned out to be only $18 million, somewhat of a far cry from its initial projections. While this was going on, the Harmonix shareholders were actually filing a reverse claim, stating that they we were actually owed money based on the idea that Viacom had withheld bonuses from them the following year in 2008.

With two groups claiming that each owed the other a boatload of cash, both parties agreed that a mutually agreed upon "resolution accountant" would be hired to pore through the books and make a final declaration of who is owed what. Recently, the accountant finished his or her charge and decided that Viacom is in the wrong, and owes a whopping $383 million smackers to the former shareholders of Harmonix. Viacom has already appealed to a Delaware court, claiming that the accounting firm didn't "consider arguments and evidence that were improperly excluded" from its report. This oversight stemmed from, it claims, "a manifest error."

The nature of the "arguments and evidence" in question have not yet been made public, nor has the court ruled on whether or not Viacom's appeal will be allowed. Either way, the suits at Viacom have got to be pretty unhappy considering that they were hoping for a $130 million dollar payday, and ended up with a $383-million-dollar unpaid invoice instead.

Source: Gamasutra

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Viacom's ringing in the new year on a sour note.

Isn't it "pore" in this case, not "pore?"

Anyway, Go Harmonix.

This article is warming. To the heart. Nothing brings a smile to my face as much as an aggressive capitalist country based company suing someone over money to be backhanded with a counter-charge that may well bankrupt them. I love it.

Metalhandkerchief:
This article is warming. To the heart. Nothing brings a smile to my face as much as an aggressive capitalist country based company suing someone over money to be backhanded with a counter-charge that may well bankrupt them. I love it.

You must not be familiar with Viacom. They own a large percentage of the planet. $380 million won't bankrupt them at all, but I agree this is definitely amusing news. Harmonix is the best at what they do, and they don't deserve to be screwed over as constantly as they have been.

Zachary Amaranth:
Isn't it "pore" in this case, not "pore?"

Wow. That just blew my mind.

But yes, it is "pore" and not "pour".

pore     verb (used without object), pored, por·ing.
1. to read or study with steady attention or application: a scholar poring over a rare old manuscript.
2. to gaze earnestly or steadily: to pore over a painting.
3. to meditate or ponder intently (usually followed by over, on, or upon ): He pored over the strange events of the preceding evening.

Looks like Viacom just picked a big bouquet of Oopsie-Daisies.

Oh Viacom, will you ever cease to be the pillar of all that is evil in the entertainment world?

Seriously, they do crap like this all the time. If a small studio makes a film, game, or television show for them, Viacom sues as soon as it gets big and makes sure they get all IP rights.

I'm pretty sure Emperor Palpatine is the founder.

From the sidebar, which claims the story is about Guitar Hero:

Genres: iwata

...what?

Formica Archonis:

Wow. That just blew my mind.

Dammit! I autocorrected in my head. You have no idea how hard it is for me to do txt speek because my brain will try and fix it.

alandavidson:
Oh Viacom, will you ever cease to be the pillar of all that is evil in the entertainment world?

Seriously, they do crap like this all the time. If a small studio makes a film, game, or television show for them, Viacom sues as soon as it gets big and makes sure they get all IP rights.

I'm pretty sure Emperor Palpatine is the founder.

I think Palpatine would just give a slow clap and walk off, amazed.

I'm pretty sure nothing he's ever done could compare to intellectual property law. >.>

It's lovely to seen Viacom losing a lawsuit for once.

Reach your hand in the cookie jar one to many times and someone's gona leave a mouse trap in it. Or in this case a bear trap. Wait how big is this jar?

And Viacom does sound like some evil corporation formed in the 1960's. Making evil consumer electronics and stuff, lol.
"Apparently formed in 2005 from a smoldering wreckage of another media group." Interesting. But not interesting enough, goodbye.

Thunderhorse31:

Metalhandkerchief:
This article is warming. To the heart. Nothing brings a smile to my face as much as an aggressive capitalist country based company suing someone over money to be backhanded with a counter-charge that may well bankrupt them. I love it.

You must not be familiar with Viacom. They own a large percentage of the planet. $380 million won't bankrupt them at all...

He's not kidding. Viacom owns or is is affiliated with Paramount Pictures, MTV, and CBS, all MAJOR television conglomerates. They grossed $14 Billion USD before expenses this year alone. Their total assets are on the order of $20 billion.

It's good to see Viacom get their due.

Doc Theta Sigma:
Looks like Viacom just picked a big bouquet of Oopsie-Daisies.

Can I quote you on that?

And then recycle it into my conversations?

I heard rumours... what was it... last year? that Harmonix were about to go under, and that the first thing to go was the Wii support and market.

Still there.

Still epic.

A classic case of egg on face, and a reminder that sometimes "leaving well alone" is a sound strategy. Sorry strataregy, err stratagy... I hired a new PR guy. Seems legit.

And the War of the Lawyers continues; the next bloody skirmish awaits!

P.S.: Viacom sucks. Granted, my animosity towards them stems less from them being a cesspool of greedy corporate douchebags, and more because they got a bunch of my favorite YouTube Poops taken down because of bogus copyright claims.

Yes, I am one of those wretched malformed rejects who actually thinks YTP is funny.

now, multiply that 100 times and you will see how much viacom owes humanity.

DanDeFool:
And the War of the Lawyers continues; the next bloody skirmish awaits!

P.S.: Viacom sucks. Granted, my animosity towards them stems less from them being a cesspool of greedy corporate douchebags, and more because they got a bunch of my favorite YouTube Poops taken down because of bogus copyright claims.

Yes, I am one of those wretched malformed rejects who actually thinks YTP is funny.

And you play Pangya, you diabolical bastard. (Love that Game!)

Also I hate Viacom, they need a few more of these to come by and teach them a real lesson.

Pwnt.

I think we should savor this, for it's possibly one of the few victories we'll have from Viacom before they eventually take over the world with their lawsuits.

 

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