Given that its chairman owns a large stake of a video game company, media giant Viacom Inc. has appointed a three-person committee to evaluate dealings in the video game arena and protect against potential conflicts of interest.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday, Viacom Chief Executive Sumner Redstone, who owns 73.7 percent of Midway Games Inc., said Viacom considers Chicago-based Midway a potential acquisition candidate.
However, Redstone said in a June filing that he was evaluating taking Midway private along with other alternatives. And in an article in The Wall Street Journal in June, Redstone said Midway wasn't "the right fit" for New York-based Viacom.
Viacom's board thought it best to develop a review process because there is the possibility that it might pursue a licensing of intellectual property or an outright acquisition of a video game company, a spokesman said.
"To protect ourselves from any signs of impropriety and to show that everything is above board, we thought it best to take this out of Sumner's hands," said Viacom spokesman Carl Folta.
Midway is best known for its "Mortal Kombat" franchise but also counts such sports titles as "NBA Ballers."