Record-setting price

In mid-1997, an unidentified company purchased for $150, 000. brokered the sale between Business Systems International and the Texas-based company, announcing on June 4, 1997. Commented CNET on that day, "With companies rushing to buy up pieces of virtual real estate, the market for Internet domain names has become as wildly unpredictable as the art market in the 1980s." (1) was the first domain name to sell for such a price, and it set a trend that continues: expensive domain names. The phenomenon effectively allowed Network Solutions - now Verisign - to print money. ICANN, seeing the problems this could cause, eventually opened up the domain registry to competition.

Record-setting price

On November 30, 1999, eCompanies bought the domain name for $7.5 million from Marc Ostrofsky, a Houston-based entrepreneur. He is likely all that remained of the company that formerly owned the domain. eCompanies is a venture capital firm; they plan to use the domain for business-to-business transactions and services. (2)

What we've learned

As a community of Internet users, we've learned the following tactics in the game of domain name cash:

Domain squatting:
Buy early and buy often. As soon as new Top-level domains open, a flood of requests for commonly-desired (single words, acronyms, etc) domains is clearly visible.

And the usual tactics of bidding apply, like starting low, and frightening holders into selling low.

Where we've come

The World Intellectual Property Organization, worried that trademarks would be squatted first, and that a sunrise period where trademark owners could squat first was in order.

Footnotes / Sources:


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