Wilmington, Del. – A federal bankruptcy court judge here has approved the bidding process for RadioShack to sell its trademarks, online domains, and other intellectual assets, but said he won’t necessarily approve the sale itself.
The sticking point remains the chain’s comprehensive customer database, which includes the personal information and shopping habits of some 67 million consumers.
Attorneys general in 36 states and two wireless carriers have voiced concerns over the sale, citing the retailer’s pledge to keep the data private and the proprietary nature of mobile subscriber lists, the AP reported.
Their arguments weren’t lost on presiding U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Brendan Shannon. Any potential bidder “with an IQ above room temperature” should be aware of the serious privacy issues that could preclude court approval of the sale, he told attorneys.
Shannon rejected a request by the Texas attorney general to break out the database as a separate sale, although RadioShack has agreed to mediation with the states beginning May 14, which will include a consumer privacy ombudsman, the wire service reported.
The auction is set for May 11 but a court hearing will be held May 20 to determine whether the sale can go through.
Also up for grabs are the retailer’s e-commerce platform and 295 registered domains, including RadioShack.com, TheShack.com and Tandy.com; its private-label brands, including Realistic, Enercell, Gigaware and Auvio; its franchise arrangements with 900 domestic and 42 foreign dealers; and the RadioShack trademark.
The deadline for bids is May 6. Interested parties can contact liquidator Hilco Streambank.