Bankruptcy Court Says Aereo Can Sell Its Assets

By Kevin Eck 

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aereo_304A US Bankruptcy Court has ruled Aereo can sell its assets to the highest bidder.

re/code reports Aereo reached an agreement with broadcasters over how the sell-off would go.

Under the agreement, Aereo will allow the broadcasters to attend the auction of the assets and provide them a weekly update on the status of the sale process.

Aereo filed for bankruptcy in November, five months after the U.S. Supreme Court said it violated broadcasters’ copyrights by capturing live and recorded programs on miniature antennas and transmitting them to subscribers for $8-$12 a month.

The Hollywood Reporter said broadcasters attempted to block the sale, afraid other companies might use Aereo’s technology in an attempt to successfully challenge copyright laws.

“If Aereo elects to sell its assets, Aereo should not be allowed to use the automatic stay to evade resolution of the issue as to the lawfulness of time-delayed retransmissions,” the broadcasters say in their objection filed on Tuesday. “If allowed to do so, Aereo would, in effect, be using the automatic stay as a device to obtain option value from a prospective purchaser willing to gamble on whether time-delayed retransmissions are infringing. The integrity of the sale process and of the bankruptcy court will only suffer if that occurs.”

The broadcasters are telling the bankruptcy judge that the copyright issues need to be resolved first, and if the bankruptcy judge disagrees, they at least want to have some say on the terms and conditions of a sale to protect their own interests.