REDWOOD CITY— Bankrupt Napster Inc. on Thursday plans to seek a Delaware court’s approval of its proposed sale to Bertelsmann AG, which hopes to revive the silenced Internet music-sharing service.
No other bidders emerged for Redwood City-based Napster after German-based Bertelsmann forced the company into bankruptcy in June. Bertelsmann values its bid for Napster at about $100 million, including debts that will be waived as part of the deal.
Bertelsmann’s bid still faces a potential obstacle. The Music Publishers Association and the Recording Industry Association of America — two powerful trade groups that have fought Napster for years — have objected to the sale.
Before federal courts ruled Napster’s online file-swapping service violated copyright laws, the service had attracted 60 million users and revolutionized the way people obtained music.
Although Napster’s service has been idle since July 2001, millions of Web surfers still exchange music files on the Internet, much to the frustration of recording studios and artists who say they are being cheated out of sales and royalties.
If its takeover bid wins court approval, Bertelsmann hopes to resurrect Napster as an industry-approved subscription service.