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Game loses EB royalty case

Steinbrecher to step down

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The Game Group has lost its battle to overturn a one per cent royalty on UK sales to Electronics Boutique, after the Court of Appeal upheld an earlier court decision.

Europe's biggest video games retailer must now continue paying Electronics Boutique ome per cent of UK turnover until January 2006. In April 2002, Game, then called Electronics Boutique UK, went to court to overturn the royalty agreement, worth £4m last year to its namesake and one-time protector. A change of composition in the EB share register rendered the deal invalid, it argued.

This was rejected in the High Court in November.

Last year EB UK changed its name to Game, inheriting the name from a retail chain it had taken over. Game and Electronic Boutique could soon be in competitition with each other in continental Europe - the duo have bought retailers there but, so far, in different countries.

John Steinbrecher, 47, Game's chief executive, is leaving the company on 1 January, 2004 to return to Philadelphia "in response to John's family's educational needs". He's not leaving with any compensation, and will continue to consult Game, the board says.

His replacement is Martin Long, 35, a Game insider who has been deputy chief executive and chief financial officer for more than three years. ®

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