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Kodak receives court approval to proceed with bankruptcy filing

The iconic American photography brand Kodak took another step toward Chapter 11, having failed to effectively redefine itself amidst digital competition.

Eastman Kodak said today it has received approval to move forward with its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing.

The agreement grants the company $950 million in debtor-in-possession financing from Citigroup that will allow the company to continue operations as it restructures.

Kodak has struggled to find its footing since the 1990s when digital photography began gaining major consumer momentum. The company, which has been around for more than 130 years, hasn't had a profitable year since 2007. In recent years, the company has turned to licensing its camera technology, or suing companies that haven't agreed to pay up. It's currently in litigation battles with the likes of Apple.

While many companies have had less than graceful transitions into digital, few faced roads as difficult as Kodak. For much of its existence, Kodak's bread and butter has been film and other physical goods related to photography — which is effectively the antithesis of digital.

To its credit, Kodak has in recent years seen some success with digital camcorders like the Zi8 and Playsport. Unfortunately, positive reviews for these devices haven't translated to company saving sales and haven't helped the company avoid its current bankruptcy predicament.

If its Chapter 11 goes smoothly (and if courtroom combat with Apple doesn't escalate too drastically), Kodak could emerge from bankruptcy in 2013.