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Columbia House, the company that sold CDs for a penny, files for bankruptcy

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The parent company of Columbia House announced on Tuesday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and plans to sell what was once a leader in the mail-order music business

A news release from Filmed Entertainment Inc. said the company would sell its Columbia House DVD Club business in an open auction, citing two decades of declining sales “driven by the advent of digital media and resulting declines in the recorded music business.” 

Columbia House was founded in 1955 but reached peak popularity in the 1990s with its “eight CDs for a penny” deals. According to the company, its revenues reached around $1.4 billion in 1996, but have been in decline almost every year since. 

It got out of the music business back in 2010 and has since been selling movies and television series directly to consumers.

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