The bigger they were, the harder they bargain
[Eastman] Kodak, which has lost more than $600 million so far this year, began an auction of 1,100 digital patents last Wednesday. It had been scheduled to designate a winner on Monday ahead of a Manhattan Federal Bankruptcy court hearing on August 20.
The company, a photography pioneer that has been unable to adapt to the shift to digital imaging, would use the money from the sale to pay back investors. It has borrowed nearly $700 million in bankruptcy financing.
It is unclear how much the patent sale will raise. The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday that Apple Inc, Google Inc and Microsoft Corp made bids, but they were significantly below Kodak's estimates for the patents' value. Kodak said early in 2012 that an outside firm had estimated the value of the portfolio at $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion.
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