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THQ, Jakks, WWE settle lawsuit over joint venture

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - THQ and its joint venture partner, Jakks Pacific Inc, settled litigation with World Wrestling Entertainment Inc over licenses for wrestling-themed video games and toys, the companies said on Tuesday.

The settlement calls for THQ and Jakks to dissolve their joint venture at year's end, and for THQ to enter into a new, 8-year licensing agreement directly with WWE starting January 1, 2010, the companies said in a press release.

Under the settlement, THQ will pay WWE $13.2 million, and pay Jakks Pacific $20 million over the next four years in addition to royalties due for the period ending December 31.

The three companies had sued each other over enforcement of the contract, which began in 1999 and was set to expire on December 31.

The settlement calls for the companies to withdraw all claims and end all litigation without any party admitting to wrongdoing, the companies said.

Analysts estimated that THQ and Jakks each made about $20 million a year from the WWE deal.

(Reporting by Gina Keating; Editing by Richard Chang)