RadioShack's intellectual property, which includes the iconic brand's name as well as its customer data, was sold at auction this week to Standard General, a hedge fund that acquired many of the stores, keeping 1,700 of them from liquidation with plans to revive the RadioShack legacy.
The winning bid was $26.2 million, reported the Wall Street Journal. The RadioShack trademark, along with all other intellectual property, was sold after a two-day auction that began on Monday. Standard General acquired the rights to buy the RadioShack stores last month, but the Delaware bankruptcy judge reserved the right to approve the customer data sale after the auction, which is pending.
Standard General, working through affiliate company General Wireless, seeks to rebuild the RadioShack store brand around a select assortment of necessities sold alongside wireless products from Sprint, which was allied with Standard General in the effort to keep more than 40 percent of the physical stores open.
Besides the trademark, the hedge fund also acquired the retailer's customer data, which was reported to include more than 65 million customer names and addresses, along with 13 million email addresses. Phone numbers and other information may be part of the deal. RadioShack has agreed to meet with several state attorney generals on Thursday to discuss the sale and use of the data, which pertains to approximately 117 million customers in total, reported the Dallas Business Journal.
However, with Standard General's plans to keep the RadioShack retail operation going, objections to the sale may be dropped. There were challenges to the customer data sale in as many as 25 states, with Texas – RadioShack's home state – taking the lead. RadioShack's original privacy statement said the company "will not sell or rent your personally identifiable information to anyone at any time."
Wireless provider AT&T had also objected to the auction of the RadioShack customer data collected by RadioShack insofar as it related to data collected in the course of selling its goods and services. It wasn't immediately clear how or if this objection had been addressed, given that Sprint will be the wireless brand sold in the reopened and co-branded stores.
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