Scramble for the most desirable
domain names on earth.
In 2010 QuinStreet was the buyer of Insurance.com for $35,600,000. Although this sale included the content, the domain name was the primary asset acquired.
February of 2015 saw Qihoo Technology, a Chinese software company, purchased 360.com from Vodafone for $17 million! And that is just for the domain name. The purchaser saw excellent long term value at that price.
In late 2014 Nissan sold their domain name Z.com for $6.8 million to GMO Internet, one of Japan's largest ISPs.
Fund.com was bought by Meade Technologies for $10 million in 2008. The company is now known as Fund.com Inc. and bought the domain name in an all-cash deal.
Brian Sharples, founder and CEO of HomeAway, recently purchased VacationRentals.com for $35 million. As Mr. Sharples described the purchase, "The only reason we bought it was so Expedia could not have that url." The value to the purchaser was in the domain name, not in any current business associated with that site.
The sale of IRS.com was sold to Intersearch.com for $12.5 million. The site is used as a financial services portal. In retrospect, the US government regrets the lack of foresight in purchasing this domain name.
Internet marketing firm Quinn Street bought the domain name Insure.com for $16 million in 2009. Insure.com, after giving up its domain name, changed its name to Life Quotes. The company had purchased the domain name for $1.6 million in 2001.
Joel Friedman originally registered Israel.com in April 1994. He later put the domain up for auction to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary. Almost 10 years later, Israel.com started bidding at $5.5 million. 6 days later bidding closed and the domain was sold for $5.88 million to an anonymous buyer.
Quinn Street was again involved in the purchase of the domain name Internet.com for $18 million in cash! This sale did include various lesser-valued domain names.
Ex-Disney executive Jake Winebaum acquired BUSINESS.COM for $7.5 million in 1999, which created some public media controversy at that time for the seemingly high price. In July 2007 BUSINESS.COM was then sold to yellow pages publisher, RH Donnelly, for $345 million, 47 times the purchase price of the domain.
ToysRUs bought the domain name Toys.com at auction for $5.1 million. ToysRUs wanted the domain, for obvious reasons. ToysRUs really didn’t have much choice. If it wants to be the first thing people associate with toys it couldn’t afford to allow anyone else to own that name.
Ice.com bought Diamond.com for $7.5 million in a private sale. Both parties agreed that the $7.5 million was for the domain name and associated intellectual property only.
Business and Wall Street investors continue to assign higher values to internet domains. According to MSNBC, the domain CREDITCARDS.COM was acquired for $2.75 million all-cash and SEC filings reveal that the $20 billion hedge fund, American Capital Strategies, and Austin Ventures invested $135 million in CREDITCARDS.COM.
In May 2008, Zappos quietly acquired the Clothes.com internet domain name from Idealab for $4.9 million. The sale shows once again how many top-dollar domain sales go unnoticed in any given year. But it also shows that many smart companies do care about generic domain names, which they quietly acquire and then use to increase sales and support their brands.
According to a company press release the domain name Shopping.de was purchased for $2,800,000 in 2008 by Unister GmbH.
The domain name Slots.com was recently bought by the UK firm Bodog through an online auction for $5.5 million.
Beer.com was originally registered by an internet entrepreneur in 1993. Six years later he and an internet developer sold the domain name to one of the largest beer companies for $7,000,000!