RadioShack’s Name And Intellectual Property Sells For $26.2 Million

The RadioShack stores that have survived to stay open under new owners will be allowed to keep their name. Well, the RadioShack name that may eventually have a much larger “Sprint” sign above it. Bidding is complete in the auction of RadioShack’s intellectual property and trademarks, and the winner is hedge fund Standard General. Yes, that’s also the owner of the 1,700 or so RadioShack stores that have remained open.

It was always possible that someone else might be interested in the RadioShack name. For example, the brand would appeal to an electronics manufacturer in Asia looking to enter the U.S. market under a familiar (if tainted) name. It would have been ideal for a maker of radio-controlled cars, for example.

In the end, Standard General was the most logical buyer, as the owners of remaining RadioShack stores. We don’t know who the other bidders were yet, but the company confirmed that it won the auction for RadioShack’s intellectual property, which includes the brand name, phone numbers, domain names, patents, trademarks, relationships with dealers and franchisees, and the controversial customer mailing lists.

Ah, yes, the mailing lists. Most of this country’s attorneys general and certain RadioShack vendors have expressed concerns about the sale of customers’ personal information, mostly because they question whether RadioShack’s original privacy policy allowed the company to re-sell personally identifying information to an outside company. Yes, even though the stores will stay open and continue to be RadioShacks, they now have a new corporate parent. Sure, what they will probably use this list for is to advertise RadioShack stores, but if a different company had won the auction, what would they do with it? The auction winner will still go through mediation with RadioShack, and the privacy ombudsman will have to issue her report before Standard General is supposed to do anything with these mailing lists.

RadioShack Name Goes to Standard General for $26.2 Million [Bloomberg News]

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