Aereo's sad bankruptcy auction brings in less than $2 million

Aereo's sad bankruptcy auction brings in less than $2 million

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Chet Kanojia, founder and CEO of Aereo, in New York on Dec. 20, 2012.

Image: Bebeto Matthews/Associated Press

Streaming television startup Aereo has been sold off for parts in a bankruptcy auction, with TiVo getting control of the company’s trademark and customer list.

In total, the auction netted less than $2 million, according to Aereo. The company had been funded to the tune of almost $100 million, although it is not known how much of that was returned to investors.

“We are very disappointed with the results of the auction. This has been a very difficult sales process and the results reflect that.” William Baldiga, counsel for Aereo and partner at Brown Rudnick, said in a press release.

RPX Corporation won Aereo’s patent portfolio, while Alliance Technologies will get Aereo’s equipment. Some of Aereo’s technology was not sold, and other options will be explored, the company said.

The auction is a sad end for what had become one of the most-watched startups of 2013 and 2014. Aereo’s primary business centered on charging customers for access to streaming broadcasts of local television channels.

It faced significant legal challenges that culminated in a loss at the Supreme Court, which found that Aereo had violated copyrights by retransmitting TV channel without consent. The company had argued that its system, in which customers leased a small antenna and cloud recording system, meant that it did not need to strike deals with broadcasters or local affiliates.

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