According to a news release this morning, Travelzoo purchased Fly.com in an all cash, $1,760,000 deal brokered by Sedo. Travelzoo plans to launch a site on Fly.com in February.
I’ve wondered what would happen if you list a domain name for sale in a live auction (such as Moniker’s Live TRAFFIC Auction), and then you sell it elsewhere without the assistance of the auction house. For curiosity’s sake, it didn’t matter how the sale occurred or whether the domain name was actually included in the auction. I always wondered what the auction house would do if they found out the domain name sold elsewhere.
In reading a thread on DN Forum, it seems to have happened to someone, and Moniker sent the domain owner a letter asking for their 15% commission payment. Apparently, the domain owner had sold the name using Sedo, but when he the buyer hadn’t paid after four weeks, the domain owner signed an agreement to sell the domain name using Moniker. Almost immediately after signing the agreement with Moniker, the sale through Sedo was unexpectedly completed.
I am not a lawyer, so I am not going to give any kind of opinion, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out.
According to a post on DomainNameNews.com and a post on NamePros, Sedo will be repeating the recent .mobi auction. In an email to clients, Sedo and the .mobi MTLD decided that the results of the recent auction would be null and void after some technical glitches occurred. As reported here, the initial auction set a sales record for total value of .mobi names sold ($1.5 million) and for the highest sales price for a .mobi name – $616,000 for Music.mobi.
.mobi MTLD and Sedo announced that they will will conduct a new auction at Sedo.com beginning on January 23rd, 2008. Coincidentally, this falls on the same day as the Snapnames/DomainFest live auction in Hollywood, California.
Mouths dropped throughout the domain industry after the completion of Sedo’s most recent auction for .mobi domain names. The auction grossed over $1.5 million in sales, which could be a record for this extension. The sale of Music.mobi for $616,000 easily eclipsed the previous public sale record of Flowers.mobi for $200,000. In fact, Games.mobi also doubled the previous record, selling for$401,500.
The amount of money paid for these names is significant, and it shows there are people who feel strongly about the future success of the extension. I eagerly await to see who the buyer is and what is done with each of these high caliber names. Should consumer friendly sites be developed on these names, it would be significant in that others may follow suit, further boosting the relevance of .mobi.
Industry giants such as Bank of America (bofa.mobi), ESPN (espn.mobi), AAA (aaa.mobi) and others have built mobile-friendly website on the .mobi extension.
The adult industry has always had a major impact on the advancement of various technologies such as VCRs, DVD players, Web development, and probably even more that I can’t think of off the top of my head. I wonder what the impact would be if they began using .mobi domain names for handheld porn. Sure, it probably wouldn’t be openly welcomed by many, but when has it been? That could really advance the .mobi extension, as consumers become aware of it.
In August, I blogged about American Airlines suing Google for allowing other companies to buy their trademarked terms such as “American Airlines.” I argued that Google should win this case because it was my opinion that another company should be able to buy generic keywords, like “American airlines,” since it isn’t necessarily associated with American Airlines. Had it been a company with a more distinctive trademark, I would have argued that it was unethical to buy those keywords. I have no legal background, so I couldn’t weigh in with a legal opinion.
That brings me to a post I just read on a forum about a company I do business with that is buying not only a keyword with the name of a competitor in it, but the actual domain name of the competitor. I was surprised to see that when you type Sedo.com into Google, obviously searching for Sedo, there is a BuyDomains.com paid advertisement. I don’t think this should be permitted by Google. It’s one thing to buy keywords such as “Domain Brokers” or “Domain Sales,” but I don’t think it’s right to buy the exact keyword domain name of a competitor.
I am sure companies across a wide variety of industries are utilizing this practice, but that doesn’t make it right.