Apple, Google opening bids for bankrupt Kodak’s patent well below $2.6 billon earlier valuation

“Opening bids for Eastman Kodak Co.’s digital patents came in far below the $2.6 billion the company said they could be worth, an early sign the bankruptcy-court auction may not leave much cash for the company after creditors are paid off,” Dana Mattioli, Ashby Jones, and Mike Spector report for The Wall Street Journal.

“Kodak received two bids from investor groups pitting Silicon Valley giants Apple Inc. and Google Inc. against each other ahead of an auction set for Wednesday, people familiar with the process said,” Mattioli, Jones, and Spector report. “The bids from the two teams came in around $150 million to $250 million, the people said.”

Mattioli, Jones, and Spector report, “Those initial bids could rise quickly if Apple and Google compete to keep the patents out of each other’s hands amid a legal battle over the lucrative smartphone and tablet markets. A year ago, Google started the bidding for Nortel Networks Inc.’s patents at $900 million before a consortium including Apple and Microsoft Corp. won the bankruptcy auction with an unexpectedly high winning bid of $4.5 billion.”

“Still, the low starting offers mean Kodak will need the consortiums to be extra aggressive if it is to reap enough to repay creditors and have some left over for reorganizing its operations,” Mattioli, Jones, and Spector report. “A poor result would make it more difficult for the company as it works to emerge from Chapter 11 as a printer maker.

Read more in the full article here.

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18 Comments

    1. Good. They are not contributing to the economy, they are merely a patent troll company. 250 million is more than they deserve. Go out of business already Kodak, be gone.

      1. Overly harsh, I would say. The company has floundered and the free market has spoken with respect to its viability, but labeling Kodak a “patent troll” really ignores the company’s noble roots as a major player in the photography business. Kodak made major missteps since that time, to be sure, but the storied history remains and can’t be denied.

        Lastly, rooting for a company to go under is just incredibly infantile. Make a detached assessment or scathing criticism; fine. But cheering a company’s demise, with the attendant unemployment and suffering of former employees that goes with that, is contemptible. Keep it up; karma comes around, eventually.

        1. Well said Guy. MDN is home to some of the most infantile, rabid, drooling, diaper wearing Apple fan boys. These shameless virgins are nothing more than a festering pimple on the asshole of humanity.

          The demise of Kodak is a real tragedy in American business. The level of tragedy runs deep on so many levels.

          1. “MDN is home to some of the most infantile, rabid, drooling, diaper wearing Apple fan boys. These shameless virgins are nothing more than a festering pimple on the asshole of humanity.”

            Care to explain to us how your rant comes up to, let alone rises above, the extremely low standard already set by twilightmoon? Seems to me like you’ve just set a new low.

          2. “The demise of Kodak is a real tragedy in American business. The level of tragedy runs deep on so many levels.”

            Bull. The company died a long time ago, what is left is a zombie patent troll company. One that doesn’t even have the dignity to use its own work, but instead uses ideas and patents ripped off from Apple to sue Apple. Shameless.

            Just like you. Now go piss off, you lame troll.

        2. It’s not contemptible when the company’s business is to sue Apple using patents that were developed for Kodak by Apple. Kodak is contemptible and deserves my scorn.

          The company was once great, but that greatness was in the past. The current Employees if they are not part of the patent troll shake down scam business, need to find a reputable company to work for.

    1. I used to agree with your sentiment. But I’m starting to wonder what the purpose of patents are in a system that doesn’t fairly protect the patent holders rights. Why waste billions? I think these “low ball” bids may show that Apple and, ironically, Google are starting to draw the same conclusion.

  1. I hate to see Kodak die like this. This was once a great and proud company (almost the Apple of there day), unfortunately the sales bozos and the marketing bozos, took over from the product guys and did not react to the coming of digital. they thought they could treat there customers as poorly as when they had a virtual monopoly. I had a couple of Kodak digital cameras, they weren’t to bad but if you ever had a problem look out they put the boots to you for repairs. This will be Microsoft in a few years if Balmer is left in charge (god willing).

    1. “This was once a great and proud company…..”

      Yeah, KODAK, the one SJ tried to help (because he always liked to help other companies since he was so thankful when he himself was helped by Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard) only to find that that same company wants to bite his ass with the same camera patents Apple developed and gave to them.

  2. They’re called “opening bids” for a reason. What did they expect, that Apple, Google or someone else would jump in with a $2.6 billion opening bid?

    Kodak won’t get what it thinks the patents are worth, but the buyers pool for these patents is very small and very specific. Not many companies have the need for these patents, and even fewer have the cash on hand to acquire them.

    1. What I would love to see is Apple making Google pay up the yin and out the yang for the patents, then having the photo patents declared property of Apple (since they developed the patents that Kodak stole) and having Google wind up with a bunch of nothing, useless patents.

  3. A poor result would make it more difficult for the company as it works to emerge from Chapter 11 as a printer maker.

    What’s most disturbing here is that this is the THIRD time Kodak has attempted to go into the printer business. Add that to their fights with Apple over patents as well as their fantasy valuations of their patents, and you get the picture of a very lost and unrealistic company. What a shame.

    So long Kodak. Marketing-As-Management has killed you.

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