RadioShack data buyer reportedly in FTC talks on privacy issues

RadioShack filed for bankruptcy in February.
RadioShack filed for bankruptcy in February. Star-Telegram

After winning its bid for RadioShack’s brand and customer data, Standard General is working with government officials to resolve concerns about protecting shoppers’ privacy, people familiar with the situation said.

Standard General is in talks with the Federal Trade Commission, along with state attorneys general, according to one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t public. As of Friday, the firm believed it was close to coming to terms on the privacy issues, another person said. A hearing to approve the deal will take place Wednesday.

In winning the auction, the hedge fund beat out 16 other bidders, including Regal Forest, which owns rights to the name in Latin America; Delta Marketing, the company behind the camera retailer 47th Street Photo; and Wonderland Investment Group, the owner of an eco-friendly bus manufacturer, one of the sources said.

The sale of RadioShack’s customer data had drawn objections from 37 state attorneys general, who asked how a potential buyer might use the information and exactly what is being sold. RadioShack, which filed for bankruptcy in February, previously agreed to mediate with the states to resolve their concerns.

The Fort Worth-based electronics chain is selling about 117 million customer records, with more than 66 million containing information related to shoppers’ physical addresses and 8 million associated with emails.

Standard General, which bought leases on about 1,740 RadioShack stores in March, agreed to pay $26.2 million for the chain’s name and intellectual property. The New York-based firm declined to comment.