Google may have spent an estimated $1.5m on the Colombian domain name g.co earlier this year, but it was outbid on g.co.uk in a recent auction by a domain investor. The desirable address sold for £76,000 at a Nominet auction, according to a list of sales compiled by domain names guru Ty Hancocks and reported by the FT today. …
I wonder if google bid 'g' for g.
If this goes on then I wonder if it will be possible to buy *.co.uk where * is null? Should be fun attempting to type that in!
@"The buyer was ANY-Web, a well-known domain speculator"
A "domain speculator" sounds like a domain squatting troll to me. Extortion racket companies like ANY-Web should be stopped from domain trolling by law.
Do I detect an undercurrent of sour grapes? Either way, it's time to nip this line of reasoning in the bud before the discussion goes too far down the rabbit hole...
The auctions were 100% OPEN, and were run to simple rules that were publicised many months in advance.
Anyone, anywhere in the world, was free to participate - the only "qualifier" was an initial £10 buy-in to join a given auction. Companies, non-profits, sole traders, partnerships, individuals - the auctions were open to any entity no matter what its "structure"...
So there was no collusion, no price fixing, no extortion, no racket - just a market operating "cleanly " without artificial barriers of any kind: a series of auctions in which the highest bidder won. It's impossible to concoct a fairer scenario than that!
> a market operating "cleanly"
that represents a curse on the net, an unholy circle jerk of cyber squatters, spammers, scammers and domain "registries", creating nothing, achieving nothing, just leaching on the system...
You are missing the point, uk_domain_names
The OP stated that domain-squatting companies should not be allowed to exist. The general opinion is that domain-squatting is extortion, and, like all other forms of extortion, should be made illegal. Regardless of the form of the auction, and whether it was "clean" (and I have no reason to suppose that it was not), it is what this type of company does afterward it has a domain name that is immoral.
Domain-squatters add nothing to anything and are mere parasites on society. They should, quite simply, be legislated out of existence. I'm guessing by your name that you too may be in that line of "business" and so have a different point of view, but tough.
Not very short
Domains under co.uk are not good for url shortening services, g.co.uk is 7 chars, g.co is 4 chars... If you want a short domain you don't get one under a second level domain, you get it directly under a TLD.
If I were Google
I would have calculated a budget for what it will cost them to retrieve a domain from a cybersquatter by legal means, and bid up to that figure.
I'm not sure Google can claim any rights over the letter 'g'. The letter 'g' has believe it or not was used in words and products unrelated to Google long before Google couldn't think of a creative name for it's email product. To give an example a 'Giraffe' is not believe it or not a Google Iraffe and 'Golf' is not the game Olf popularised by Google.
But then again Yahoo! managed to persuade some admin assistant that they own the letter y so I guess anything is possible.
Why does Yahoo have a monopoly over the letter Y?
Yahoo doesn't have a monopoly on Y, but it does have a trademark. Other people may have a similar mark, but none of them applied for the URL, so Yahoo got it.
People seem to be presenting this story as "Google LOST". No they didn't they decided they weren't willing to pay more than 75 grand for the domain name. Actually I doubt it's even worth that. Google have got so much money they could have paid a million or more for that domain and hardly noticed. So if they were out at 75K then it's probably worth a lot less.
The investor that has bought it is probably the real loser here. If anybody wanted the domaint they would presumably have bid for it at the auction. If they weren't there bidding they probably don't want it that much. Certainly not more than 76 grand much. So who are they going to sell it to at a profit?
Does anybody really type Google.co.uk anyway? Don't we all just type our search term into the address bar of our browser and then the browser fires our query at our chosen search engine?
if you own "g.co" why would you want a longer shortner ?
For ANY-Web this is a bad case of winner's curse. Having paid £76,000 for the address in open auction, they can be certain that nobody else believes it to be worth that much. Their only hope is for a greater fool to buy the domain.
That Google "lost" by something like 76K...
...shows a distinct lack of interest on behalf of Google.
too many letters
I must be old as old, but didn't I recall once that all domains had to be mre than two letters, with a couple of anarchic anomalies like BT that got away with it?
Where's the icon for old fart who hasn't kept up?
Yes you are old (like myself!)
That was a UK/Nominet restriction, not a global DNS one (look at all the 2-character .com domain names). They changed that recently, so they could milk a good wedge from an un-tapped market - sorry, widen the choice of domains for interested parties... ;-)
"Why does Yahoo have a monopoly over the letter Y?"
It doesn't ... but it does hold a trademark on (a stylized form of) the letter Y in the context of web based services etc hence it would have a good argument that anyone else using y.co.uk would be infringing that trademark.
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