Napster has finally closed following a court ruling that white knight company Bertelsmann was unable to buy it in a $8m deal.
On the back of the news Napster laid off most of its staff yesterday, including its co-founder Shawn Fanning.
Napster chief financial officer Carolyn Jensen is one of just a handful of employees who will remain behind to prepare the company for Chapter 7 liquidation.
Meanwhile, chief executive Konrad Hilbers said in a statement that the lay-offs meant the end of Napster, as the company's technology was of little value without the talented team that created it.
Bertelsmann wanted to acquire the company through a pre-packaged Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganisation. But the presence of former Bertelsmann executive Hilbers as Napster chief executive did not sit well with other creditors, who challenged the sale in the bankruptcy court.
An attorney representing the National Music Publishers' Association produced a three-month-old email from Hilbers, in which he said, in effect, that at all times he had been acting in the interests of Bertelsmann.
Judge Peter Walsh said that it was abundantly clear that Hilbers had one foot in the Napster camp and one foot in the Bertelsmann camp, and was so fundamentally conflicted that the transaction was tainted by his conduct.
Napster wrote its own epitaph on its website yesterday, saying "Napster was here". Accompanying the text is an illustration of Napster's cool-cat logo on a tombstone, along with the words "Ded [sic] Kitty".
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