Subscribe to RSS Feed

12|11|2012 11:32 am EDT

Investing.com sells for $2.45 Million USD

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

Tags: , , ,

Media company investing in .com – investing.com
Investing.com (Screenshot)

As reported by TechCrunch Investing.com was bought for $2.45 Million USD by Virgin Island based Forexpros/Fusion Media Ltd.

As TechCrunch writes, with the purchase, Forexpros will today launch a global financial portal under the Investing.com URL, where it plans to offer a free resource for novice and semi-professional traders and investors to find realtime quotes and charts, breaking news, financial tools, technical analysis and calendars.

The last snapshot of the site by Archive.org shows that in February of 2011 the site was just an under construction page. ForexPros was launched in 2007 and employs 70 people world wide. Now the site has been rebranded to Investing.com and the domain name ForexPros.com redirects to Investing.com.

[Hat tip to George Kirkos and Donna Mahony]

07|27|2012 02:48 am EDT

Thomson Reuters buys Mark Monitor for an undisclosed sum

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Registries

Tags: , , , , ,

Information company Thomson Reuters announced today that they bought brand protection company and corporate domain registrar Mark Monitor for an undisclosed sum.

“This acquisition marks the beginning of a transformational shift within the Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters,” said Chris Kibarian, president, IP & Science, Thomson Reuters. “It is emblematic of our strategy to accelerate innovation and growth within our business.”

“Thomson Reuters already helps thousands of companies create, manage and protect hundreds of billions of dollars worth of intellectual property assets,” said David Brown, president, Intellectual Property Solutions, Thomson Reuters. “With the addition of online brand protection solutions like those provided by MarkMonitor, we’ll be able to deliver advanced technologies to keep customers one step ahead of brandjackers and reduce the enormous risk posed to brands online.”

The MarkMonitor team, led by President and Chief Executive Officer Irfan Salim, will join Thomson Reuters.

Mark Monitor submitted a number of new TLD application on behalf of corporate clients

See the full release after the jump. [via TechCrunch, hat tip to VSDHoldings]

(more…)

11|04|2009 05:09 pm EDT

SnapNames Insider Bidding Aftermath – EDITORIAL

by Adam Strong in Categories: Editorial

Tags: , , , , , ,

When I read the news today from Oversee and SnapNames stating that an employee had been bidding on domains, I knew. . . I knew who it was. I didn’t want to hear it but I knew. Like many of my colleagues who frequented SnapNames auctions over the years, the first name that came to mind was “Halvarez” .  To confirm from SnapNames sources later that it was indeed Nelson Brady really was more disheartening.

For those that never worked directly with SnapNames or Nelson, he was the kind of guy that you could email day or night and he’d respond almost instantaneously. He was the kind of guy that you wanted working on the other end of the phone; fast, courteous and intelligent.  To find out now that he was lying and betraying not only me, but everyone that he worked with leaves me speechless.  It left a fellow employee I spoke with at SnapNames speechless as well.  With such a small organization, I can only imagine the feeling of betrayal.

This is a tough day for Oversee. The aftermath of this news will leave a cloud of doubt over SnapNames for years to come.  This isn’t the only problem that this issue created though. Every Tom, Dick and Harry with a conspiracy theory about any domain company will come out of the woodwork now claiming “I told you so” or bringing up more cases of strange behavior that they believe could only be attributed to a nefarious company or individual.

We’re already seeing new theories today with posts in DNN comments citing other SnapNames users such as “Vaxis” may have also shills (most insiders know this was Kevin Ham’s user name).   Other conspiracies popping up include that the company knew about this and Brady is being thrown under the bus. The domain business has always had an unusually high amount of conspiracy theorists, but a conspiracy being proven true is harmful enough to beginning casting a shadow of doubt big enough to cover all in the domain industry.

Take the quote from Michael Arrington, former CEO of Pool.com (another expiring name aftermarket with conspiracy rumors of their own) comment on the Tech Crunch coverage of the SnapNames story :

Anyone who doesn’t know how dirty the domain name business is just doesn’t know the domain name business.

Arrington has taken plenty of stabs at the domain space since his departure, calling ICANN corrupt and domainers equivalent to the mafia.  This time though the dirty laundry is out and you’d have to say his name calling seems justifiable. Arrington’s mainstream audience which likely knows little about domains now gets to read about the confirmation of how dirty it can be and how right Michael can be as well.

The domain aftermarket business needs to take a step back and really think about the things that went haywire here and what exactly should be done.  SnapNames had internal policies prohibiting this (as do other auction houses), but the reality is that no internal policy is going to keep a rogue employee with dollar signs in their eyes from going after that “golden goose”.  Employees at domain aftermaket and parking companies deal with multi-millionaire clients and I’m sure the lure of the easy buck is hard to resist.  If someone wants to bid on domains and the policy says they can’t, they’ll find a way around it.   Policies like this won’t prevent it, they’ll just slow the person down or create a situation where the employee becomes more “resourceful” and goes further “underground”.

It’s not hard for any employee to create a new identity and run everything through that identity or hire someone to bid on domains on your behalf ?  This becomes an extremely difficult policy for a company to enforce, but clearly one that needs to be addressed.  We’re relying on the company to police itself in these cases.  It took Oversee over 4 years to figure this out so what does that say about policing their own company

The industry needs to get a grip on this stuff . We need a code of conduct, outside audits or some sort of layer of trust built in to these auctions.  The accusations of shill bidding are not new. Every auction house has been accused of it before.  Now it’s real.  We need audits and policies that insure that everything is being run right.  If we don’t I think you can rest assured that someone else will step in and create rules for us or settle these issues with lawsuits.

Let’s get it together domain companies!

09|18|2009 10:59 am EDT

Mint.com domain owner profits from sale of company

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

Tags: , , , ,

As reported by The Domains and Domain Name Wire earlier today, the former owner of the domain name mint.com stands to reap the rewards of the sale of the site to Intuit. But this was more than a simple domain name against stock deal and the previous domain owner was actually an investment firm.

According to TechCrunch the former owner of the domain name mint.com (Hite Capital), which was just sold with a developed site to Intuit for 170 million USD, received a significant amount in series A stock for the domain name, which should be “worth a ‘couple of million dollars,’ says one source [to TechCrunch], after the acquisition”. Hite Capital also invested money into mint.com in the series A and series B investment rounds – according to CrunchBase, so maybe they did not only give them the company the domain name. However they are not listed as an investor on mint.com’s website.

DomainTools whois history shows that the domain was owned by “Mint Investment Management Co.” in New York until April 19th, 2007. Aside from the floor (12th vs. 15th) this address also matches the current whois of HiteCapital.com, where the owner, admin and tech contact, Erik Jacobsen, also is using a @mint.com email address. Mint Investment Management Co. was founded by Larry Hite who also is an active investor and managing director at Hite Capital Management LLC

08|19|2009 03:48 pm EDT

AOL Wreaks Havoc On Advertising Domains

by Chad Kettner in Categories: Up to the Minute

Tags: , , , ,

The headline at TechCrunch says it all: “AOL Thinks It Owns All Advertising Domains”. The company is not only partly responsible for the $1.4 million sale of Ad.com falling through, but it is now suing Advertise.com for trademark infringement and unfair competition based on the domain name similarities to AOL-owned Advertising.com.

As reported at Domain Name Wire, the lawsuit claims:

“…Advertise.com recently commenced use of the virtually identical and confusingly similar designation Advertise.com and design in connection with the same and complimentary services as those offered by Plaintiffs under their federally-registered Advertising.com name and marks and their Ad.com name and marks.”

AOL believes that this could cause confusion for anybody who thinks Advertise.com is affiliated with AOL’s Advertising.com or Ad.com trademarks. The Ad.com mark, by the way, is not based on AOL’s ownership of the domain name (which it has never owned), but rather related to the company calling the Advertising.com unit “Ad.com” in the past.

In the court filings, AOL orders Advertise.com to pay for damages, gains, profits, advantages, and costs… plus “change its corporate and legal name to one that does not incorporate the term ADVERTISE.COM, ADVERTISING.COM, AD.COM or any term confusingly similar thereto”.

And remember, AOL doesn’t own Ad.com or any trademarks directly related to Advertise.com. Bizaare.

[via TechCrunch]

08|06|2009 04:13 pm EDT

Server.com and Jesus.net Highlight Sedo’s Weekly Sales

by Chad Kettner in Categories: Domain Sales

Tags: , , , , ,

Sedo posted $1.7 million worth of domain sales this past week with a range of impressive sales including Server.com for $770,000, Jesus.net for $124,337, OMG.com for $80,000, Enlargement.com for $56,000, Loterie.fr for $50,000 (€35,000), MotorcycleInsurance.org for $34,000, and Cloud.me for $22,500.

Following the massive sale of Server.com, Robin Wauters of TechCrunch speculated as to why we’ve been seeing so many high-profile, generic domain names sell for such high prices during the recession:

“Maybe professional domainers and regular companies with an attractive portfolio are more willing to sell now that cash is in shorter supply than it was before the economy collapsed, or maybe these are all calculated bets made by companies that have the capital required to purchase/invest in quality domain names. Most likely, it’s a combination of both”

Take a look at the full list of Sedo domain sales after the jump…

(more…)

06|01|2009 04:55 am EDT

Facebook to Introduce Vanity URLs

by Chad Kettner in Categories: Up to the Minute

Tags: , ,

According to TechCrunch, Facebook is getting ready to let users claim vanity URLs to point to their profile page – with an official announcement expected later this week followed by a landrush period soon after.

This means that instead of having a ridiculously long URL for user profiles (such as http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=000000001), users will be able to have a URL that makes a little more sense – such as putting their name or nickname after facebook.com/.

Facebook first toyed with the idea of vanity URLs in March, giving a few away to celebrities and businesses such as…

  • Facebook.com/U2
  • Facebook.com/Ashton (for Ashton Kutcher)
  • Facebook.com/DemiMoore

And since then, even more URLs have been passed around to Facebook friends and associates:

  • Facebook.com/DaveMorin – Facebook Sr. Platform Manager
  • Facebook.com/Mark – Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook)
  • Facebook.com/KevinRose – Digg.com Founder
  • Facebook.com/TechCrunch
  • Facebook.com/Chad (I’m choked)

[via TechCrunch]

Note: Before you get too excited and start planning your vanity URL, there’s a chance that Facebook may charge users for them. So with that in mind, how much would you be willing to pay for your first option?

05|29|2009 11:44 am EDT

Mogulus.com Spends $100K To Rebrand As Livestream.com

by Chad Kettner in Categories: News

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

ls-logo-r03-300x75Mogulus, an innovative media company that allows people to create their own online television channels, has purchased Livestream.com for $100,000 via Sedo and re-branded its service with the new and improved name.

Since being founded in 2007, Mogulus has been used by more than 300,000 people worldwide to launch live video channels – and over 1000 producers and media companies have already started paying for the premium Livestream Pro service that was introduced only five months ago.

However, according to TechCrunch.com, the company decided it needed a new domain name “because it feels like the entire field of streaming live video on the web is on the verge of exploding in popularity, and it’d be hard to find a better name to take advantage of that.”

“Livestream is doing for live video streaming what YouTube did for on-demand video clips,” explained Max Haot, the CEO and Co-Founder of Livestream. “While we didn’t invent live streaming, we’re removing the barriers – making live video production and streaming easy and affordable for anybody to use and experience.”

On top of purchasing a new domain name and making an identity change, the company also revealed a re-designed website and introduced an updated Procaster tool. Livestream was used by SpaceFlight Now to broadcast the blast off of the Atlantis Space Shuttle earlier this month and has also been utilized by Aftermarket.com for their domain auction broadcasts.

[via Livestream Blog]

12|30|2008 07:01 pm EDT

FastCompany And TechCrunch On New TLDs and Cybersquatting

by Adam Strong in Categories: News

Tags: , , , , , ,

Chris Dannen of FastCompany blogged his thoughts on the pending release of new TLDs . Dannen feels that the release of the new domain extension will spur a rebirth of cybersquatting.  Too bad Dannen, like many others, has bought in to the idea that cybersquatting equals buying and selling domain names or merely owning more than one domain.  He cites an example of an Iraq War veteran and friend of his who bought up and sold domain names to supplement his income. I’m not sure what this friend of his owns but the act of buying domain names and selling them is not really cybersquatting.  Cybersquatting is illegal. Speculating on domains is not. Owning thousands of domains is not. Selling domains is not.

Dannen also buys in to the message that seems to be one propelling the introduction of new TLDs forward “the Web is running out of memorable domain names.”  Highly unlikely given the number of TLDs we currently have, language variations and made up words and names that are created every day.  Even the name ipod, a name he uses in his piece, meant nothing a mere 7 years prior.

Cyber squatters will suddenly have billions of new domain names to purchase for only a few dollars — no longer will they have to rely on buying domains more expensively secondhand. Trademark infringement suits will balloon from tens or hundreds of domains to thousands and tens of thousands.

Jason Kincaid of TechCrunch follows up to the FastCompany piece, essentially stating that nobody really cares about all these new extensions.  Sure there will be squatters and speculators grabbing up a bunch of domains and it may keep the lawyers busy. We can however look at the history of the latest and greatest new TLD and see that this game is pretty much played out.  A new TLD needs an audience and type-ins and a reason for people to gravitate to it.

As Kincaid points out, people generally don’t navigate to these new TLDs through typeins contrary to what Dannen seems to be saying. The new TLDs are not recession proof in our opinion either.  How well are those .mobi aftermarket sales going right about now?  The Fortune article by Paul Sloan talking about domains as recession proof is clearly dated, given the downward trend that all in the domain space have been feeling.

11|11|2008 11:30 am EDT

Alice.com sells for $250,000

by Frank Michlick in Categories: Domain Sales

Tags: , , , ,

According to Techcrunch, the domain name Alice.com was sold for $250,000 USD in September 2008. The company raised $4.3 Million for a new retail platform focused on consumer packaged goods and linking manufacturers of essential household stuff like tooth brushes, toilet paper, trash bags with consumers. The founder’s blog, FlywheelBlog, also features a series of interesting posts about the decision to name the company Alice.com.

[via TechCruch]