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Arbitrator Lowers Return Rate on Wrestling Video Games

An arbitrator has sided with video game publisher THQ Inc. in its dispute with JAKKS Pacific Inc. over royalties from WWE video games. The arbitrator ruling sets a return payment rate of 6 percent of net sales to JAKKS, as compared to the 10 percent rate the company had been receiving. As a result, Agoura Hills-based THQ is expected to report a one-time benefit of $23 million during the quarter ending Sept. 30. The WWE-licensed games are put out by a joint venture between THQ and JAKKS. The companies turned to arbitration when they could not agree on a new return rate for the period July 2006 through September 2009. “As we expected, we have prevailed in this matter,” said James Kennedy, executive vice president for business and legal affairs for THQ. “We are gratified the arbitrator agreed the preferred return rate to JAKKS Pacific on WWE video games will be significantly lower.” Mark R. Madler

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