A U.S. bankruptcy judge Wednesday approved the sale of RadioShack's name and customer data to Standard General. The investment firm’s winning bid was for $26.2 million, well above the $15 million it initially bid.
Standard General agreed to limit the availability of customer emails to the last two years and to just seven of 170 fields of information. Plus, Standard General itself will only get access to the names and addresses of 67 million customers, rather than the 117 million it wanted to buy.
The Federal Trade Commission sent a letter earlier this week saying that concerns over RadioShack's customer data could be mitigated if certain conditions were met; otherwise, the retailer would have to obtain permission from customers regarding the use of their data.
Standard General is already operating many of its newly minted RadioShack-Sprint stores, and now it will be able to keep the RadioShack trademark name and data.
In a letter this week, the FTC had said that, as with its regulation of data sold by retailer Toysmart several years ago, RadioShack should only sell its data under the following conditions:
- The customer information is not sold as a standalone asset;
- The buyer is engaged in substantially the same lines of business as RadioShack;
- The buyer expressly agrees to be bound by and adhere to the terms of RadioShack’s privacy policies as to the personal information acquired from RadioShack; and
- The buyer agrees to obtain affirmative consent from consumers for any material changes to the policy that affect information collected under the RadioShack policies.
The limits that Standard General has agreed to has apparently appeased the states attorneys general concerned about customer privacy and helped move the approval of this sale.