After initiating a $1.75 billion legal action against the newly-purchased Twenty-First Century Fox Incorporated subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company in November, Asian casino operator, Genting Malaysia Berhad, is now reportedly the subject of a countersuit brought by the American media giant.
According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, the action from The Walt Disney Company was filed on Tuesday with the United States District Court for the Central District of California and is seeking $46.2 million in damages over allegations that Genting Malaysia Berhad had failed ‘to honor its contractual commitments’ concerning a licensing agreement.
The Hollywood Reporter detailed that this 2013 deal was to see Genting and Fox collaborate in order to build the 20th Century Fox World Theme Park at the Malaysian firm’s sprawling Resorts World Genting integrated casino resort. But, the Kuala Lumpur-listed operator subsequently pulled the plug before later initiating a breach of contract lawsuit over allegations that The Walt Disney Company had unjustly instructed its recently-acquired subordinate to cancel the union in order to conform to its own long-held policy of not partnering with enterprises involved in gambling.
License fee demands:
Last year saw Disney agree to pay $71 billion in order to buy Fox, while the lawsuit from Genting Malaysia Berhad also alleges that its partner’s new owner had almost immediately sought to scupper the deal by instituting delays while asking for increased and accelerated license fee payments.
Poor planning charges:
However, The Hollywood Reporter explained that the new countersuit from Disney claims that these alleged delays were the product of insufficient planning and poor standards of quality on the part of Genting Malaysia Berhad.
The lawsuit from The Walt Disney Company read…
“Because it often proceeded without plans, approval or much thought at all, Genting [Malaysia Berhad] built buildings that were too tall for the themed facades constructed to house them, built parade floats that were so large that they left no room on the street for spectators, built an attraction without including the designed (or any) evacuation route and routinely had to retrofit, if not tear down, its prematurely-built structures to accommodate either [Twenty-First Century Fox Incorporated’s] approved plans or the intended use of the project.”
The complaint from Walt Disney reportedly charges that Genting had often ‘simply changed approved attractions at the whim of its chairman’ such as a previously-approved central fountain and that actions such as these had required ‘further design, a further approval process and further delays.’
In responding to the new countersuit, Genting Malaysia Berhad attorney, John Berlinski, reportedly told the news source that the action is an attempt by The Walt Disney Company ‘to divert attention away from its own incompetence and inexperience.’
Berlinski to The Hollywood Reporter…
“Just two months before termination, [Twenty-First Century Fox Incorporated] was more than willing to open 20th Century Fox World Theme Park but only if Genting [Malaysia Berhad] paid them well in excess of the amounts the parties originally agreed upon.”