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Harmonix Shareholders Sue Viacom

Gamasutra has word that a group of former shareholders of developer Harmonix (Rock Band) filed a lawsuit in a U.S. court last week against parent company Viacom accusing them of attempts to get out of paying performance-based bonuses. The suit accuses Viacom, who are looking to sell Harmonix, of manipulating distribution costs to reduce bonus payouts. Word is they: "decided to forego the opportunity to reduce EA’s distribution fees during 2008 (or in any other way enhance Harmonix’s net income or Gross Profit for 2008), and instead demanded benefits for itself (rather than Harmonix) in exchange for allowing EA to continue distributing Rock Band." The suit goes on to say: "Although a reduced 2008 EA distribution fee would have increased Harmonix's gross profit and operating profits in 2008, Viacom realized that every $1.00 of distribution fees that Harmonix saved during 2008 would require Viacom to pay an additional $3.50 of earn-outs to the [ex-shareholders]."

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