Viacom famously sold its Harmonix division – the developer of Rock Band – for $49.99 to a private equity firm at the end of last year. Now we know why: by completing the sale before the end of 2010, Viacom generated a tax benefit of around $115 million. The writedown includes a $45 million cash refund on previously paid taxes, and $70 million to offset future taxes. Viacom originally bought Harmonix for $175 million in 2006, and later paid a further $150 million in earn-out payments, before revenues from the music game genre began to slide. Source: Gamasutra

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