Delaware Supreme Court Rules Against Viacom in Harmonix Lawsuit

A Delaware Supreme Court has affirmed this week that Viacom must pay bonuses to former shareholders of Guitar Hero and Rock Band maker Harmonix, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The Delaware Supreme Court backed up decisions by an arbitrator ruling in December of 2011 and an August 2012 decision by a Delaware circuit court judge. Both of those earlier rulings concluded that Viacom owed $299 million plus interest in "earn-outs" to the individuals who once controlled Harmonix.

In its latest fight to appeal the earlier rulings, Viacom argued that resolution accountants (BDO) committed "misconduct" in its findings, but the appeals court ruled that the claim lacked merit.

"BDO did not ignore any relevant evidence," read the ruling obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. "Rather, it decided that evidence concerning an inventory writedown could not be considered, absent consent of the parties, because that issue was not identified in the original documents governing the scope of the arbitration. There was no misconduct, even if BDO’s decision on that issue was incorrect."

The court also rejected Viacom's argument that the judgment in the case should have been decided by a court and not by an arbitrator.

There aren't too many options left for the former owner of Harmonix, save an option to get its case heard before the U.S. Supreme court. Other than that happening, Viacom will have to pay the judgment and move on.

Source: Hollywood Reporter

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