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Since the departure of Chief Executive Thomas Middelhoff, who originally spearheaded the German media comglom's investment in the company, its prospects appear bleak.
NAPSTER: THE FINAL DAYS?
Once-proud File Sharing Service Fails to Attract New Bids... What's Bertie Gonna Do With It?
The long, twisted road traveled by revolutionary file-sharing app Napster may be coming to an end.

The company failed to attract any new bidders at yesterday's Bankruptcy Court deadline, which means Bertlesmann may finally take control of the once high-flying music swapco.

What they will do with it is another question.

A group of unsecured creditors, including former Napster litigator David Boies, made one more attempt to find a buyer from record labels, media companies or other interested parties at a price-tag of $25 million with little response.

That might not be enough to guarantee control of Napster as Bertelsmann, the company which originally bailed the company out with loans of more than $85 million, insisted its cumulative bid amounted to more than $100 million.

Boies had hired Trenwith Securities in Costa Mesa, CA, to drum up interest in the company, but none has emerged. Unless legal objections in the Delaware bankruptcy proceedings stop the sale, Bertlesmann could take ownership after a final hearing Aug. 29.

One creditor, PlayMedia Systems, filed an objection yesterday claiming its proprietary software code could unwittingly be transferred in the sale.

Bertelsmann hasn't indicated what it intended to do with Napster. Since the departure of Chief Executive Thomas Middelhoff, who originally spearheaded the German media comglom's investment in the company, its prospects appear bleak.

After losing a series of copyright infringement suits brought out by the record labels, Napster has shut down its system as it developed a new, legal version, but has been unable to strike deals for content. The company filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, when Middelhoff agreed to buy it after the proceedings helped eliminate the swapco's legal liabilities.

At its height, Napster had as many as 60 million people sharing files on its site. Now, it's not even worth the price of founder Shawn Fanning's baseball cap.

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