RealTime IT News

Bidding War Heats Up For Napster

The fate of Napster is still floating in limbo as potential buyers are circling the dot-com dead pool waters for one of the most notorious sites in Internet history.

The Napster trademark, napster.com domain and other related assets from the Redwood City-based Internet file-swapping service are up for a second time after a Delaware bankruptcy court denied Bertelsmann AG its bid to buy Napster.

In a ruling on Friday, September 13, a bankruptcy judge gave Costa Mesa, Calif.-based Trenwith Securities and the committee overseeing Napster until Friday, September 27 to select the highest and best bidder for Napster's assets.

Trenwith, which facilitated the first auction Monday said the deadline for bidding on Napster was extended to Tuesday September 17 to accommodate for the Yom Kippur holiday.

Since the second auction began on September 3rd, Trenwith said more than a dozen companies, both domestic and international, have expressed interest in Napster.

That includes an unsolicited bid by pornography provider Private Media Group .

The Barcelona, Spain-based company Monday outlined its specific goals for Napster including using its peer-to-peer technology to let its adult consumers share adult content for free as well as access other content at what it calls a "reasonable price."

But said Private's current $2.8 million offer is way too low to even qualify it for the $6 million minimum bid, according to Trenwith officials. The holding company recently lowered Napster's minimum bid price from $25 million to $6 million.

That doesn't prohibit Private, Bertelsmann or any other company from competing for Napster's assets, but if an offer is accepted, it is subject to customary terms and conditions, including approval by the court having jurisdiction over Napster, Inc.'s bankruptcy proceeding going on in a Delaware court.