|A chance to spend some one-on-one facetime with the CEO of the world's most influential and profitable technology company is worth a lot; far more than anyone expected, as it turns out. Apple head Tim Cook has offered a half-hour "coffee" at Apple headquarters to the winning bidder in a charity auction that was initially valued as being worth $50,000. As of 6:45PM ET on Friday -- with 18 days remaining in the bidding -- the bidding has reached $580,000 after 81 bids. The auction benefits the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.
The bidding war escalated quickly, and reached a fever peak on Friday morning, with a handful of companies upping the bids by tens of thousands of dollars in an effort to "shake out" small-increment bidders. Once the bidding hit the $300,000 mark, the usual few hours between bids suddenly heated up, with the price jumping to $550,000 in about four minutes. Following the short frenzy of increases, bidding has returned to a more leisurely pace.
The current high bidder goes by the user name "DrBluetooth," which is slang for a middle-aged businessman with a constant bluetooth headset on and does not indicate the identity of the bidder. The previous most aggressive bidder was a company called Clearcrate.com, a Miami-based iOS device accessory maker.