Apple, Google Lowball Kodak in Patent Auction

Paul Lilly

Apple and Google are both reportedly interested in Kodak's digital patents, but the amount each one is willing to pay is far below what the cash strapped company thinks they could be worth. By Kodak's estimation, the patents up for auction could bring in as much as $2.6 billion, which would go a long way towards settling the company's financial woes and bankruptcy proceedings. Early bids, however, haven't even topped $250 million.

Two investor groups representing Apple and Google placed initial bids ranging from $150 million to $250 million, The Wall Street Journal reports . That's the very definition of lowball, but depending on how badly Apple and Google want to keep the patents out of each other's hands, the bids could quickly balloon.

That's what Kodak is hoping for so that it can pay off its debts and emerge from Chapter 11, with enough money left to restructure its organization. In a bankruptcy hearing earlier this year, Kodak informed the court its patents were worth anywhere from $2.2 billion to $2.6 billion.

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