Blockbuster seeks Chapter 11 protection
Blockbuster filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday, reeling from mounting losses, rising debt and competitors that have better catered to Americans' evolving media habits.
The company will continue to operate its 3,300 U.S. stores, although analysts expect hundreds of them to close under new owners led by billionaire investor Carl Icahn.
Dallas-based Blockbuster has about 25,500 employees, including 7,500 full-time workers.
The bankruptcy marks the end of an era that Blockbuster and its blue-and-gold torn-ticket logo helped establish. Americans who once trooped to video-rental stores now watch movies from DVD-by-mail services such as Netflix, cable video on demand and Redbox vending machines.
The bankruptcy will wipe out Blockbuster's battered stock, which was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in July because it was nearly worthless.
Icahn and his group own 80 percent of top-priority Blockbuster debt, with a face value of $675 million. Under the proposed reorganization, they will get new shares and control of Blockbuster's board in return for forgiving the debt.
This marks the second time that Icahn has tried to turn around Blockbuster. He pushed Blockbuster to build up its DVD-by-mail service after acquiring a 10 percent stake in the company in 2005, only to see the chain get into deeper trouble.
- Associated Press
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Verizon's 4G network has been set up in 30 markets since June, Seidenberg said. The wireless company will make the service available to customers this year. Tiered plans typically offer an array of price options for different network usage and eliminate unlimited packages. AT&T, the second-largest mobile carrier, introduced tiered plans this year for its 3G network.
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- From news services