After deliberating over the arguments made by both Viacom and Harmonix, a Delaware Supreme Court refused to take up the case because it was deemed an issue to be decided by an arbitrator.
This means bad news for Viacom after arbitrators and a Delaware circuit judge determined that the mass media company owes hundred of millions of dollars to Harmonix (figures have been reported to be $383 million).
Viacom acquired Harmonix in 2006 but sold the company four years later because “the console games business requires an expertise and scale that we don’t have,” according to Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman.
Walther Winshall, the delegated stockholder representative of the video game company that produced Rock Band and Guitar Hero, filed a lawsuit against Viacom earlier in December 2011 for “earn out” payments that were never made despite a contract promising a payment of post-merger financial performance bonuses. Although Viacom paid around $150 million in these “earn outs” back in 2007, no payments were made the following year.