We kinda had a feeling this was coming, especially since the stockholders of Harmonix had filed suit against Viacom way back in December of last year for bonuses they believe they earned, but were never paid . And now, in what essentially amounts to a legal tit-for-tat, Viacom is now suing stockholders of Harmonix, for the sum of $131 million. While the amount does come as somewhat of a surprise, Viacom did state on their financial statements last year that “we believe that we are entitled to a refund of a substantial portion of amounts previously paid,” so I can’t say I’m completely surprised this is now public knowledge.
In Viacom’s lawsuit that has now been officially filed, they are seeking $131,827,980 of the original $149,770,149 payment to Harmonix. If we go back in time to February of last year, Viacom had originally gone public with the knowledge that they were coming after this money, and we analyzed Viacom’s reasoning for wanting their money back.
This is a pretty bold move from Viacom, as it’s fairly uncommon for corporations to go after bonuses that were actually paid, and then attempt to ask for the money back after things don’t pan out as expected. I can only speculate that this suit is going to be used as leverage against Harmonix’s litigation against Viacom, and that the whole thing will be settled out of court in arbitration, ending in a a wash for both companies.
You can review the entire legal document here.