But the sum was well below the $3.8m Marc Schaffel originally demanded and the court also awarded Mr Jackson $200,000 in a cross-complaint.
Mr Schaffel had said he was not paid for work on an unreleased charity record and documentaries with the star.
Mr Jackson alleged Mr Schaffel owed him a total of $660,000.
The jury in the civil court in Santa Monica had earlier asked a number of questions, heard repeated testimony and then wanted to know if it could arrive at a split decision.
Superior Court Judge Jacqueline Connor said some jurors could abstain from voting as only nine need to agree a verdict in a civil case.
Mr Schaffel had previously lowered his demand to $1.6m then further to $1.4m.
The court had earlier heard phone messages between the two men.
In a message from 2001, Mr Jackson said: "Marc, please never let me down. I like you. I love you.
"I really want us to be friends and conquer the business world together. Please be my loyal, loyal friend."
Mr Jackson did not appear in court during the case.