Now this is how you really do business in the real world.
Harmonix, the makers of Rock Band, Dance Central and Guitar Hero, sold itself to Viacom in 2006 for a cool $175 million plus bonuses and profit share over a certain level.
Then in 2007 they received $150 million in bonuses and things were looking great but then came 2008 and Viacom paid over absolutely nothing and tried to get their $150 million back.
Both of them subsequently filed lawsuits as Americans do and carried on working together. In 2010 Harmonix bought itself back for $50. No I’m not missing the million indicator but it wasn’t all bad for Viacom as they received a $50 million tax break in the process.
And now the courts have awarded Harmonix $383 million in missing bonus payments which means that Harmonix clocked up $708 million in 5 years minus the $50 that they had to fork out.
Viacom are currently contesting the payout but they should be careful as Harmonix feels it is actually owed $550 million from Viacom so they could still get more out of this.
Last Updated: January 4, 2012