Did Facebook Pay “More Than $6 Million” for Bulletin.com?

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Recode published an article this afternoon about a new Facebook newsletter product called Bulletin that is expected to be debuted this month. What caught my attention was a mention of the Bulletin.com domain name. In the article, it was mentioned that Facebook reportedly paid seven figures to acquire the Bulletin.com domain name.

Here’s the related excerpt:

“One source familiar with the company tells me it paid more than $6 million to purchase the Bulletin.com URL this year.”

Jamie Zoch mentioned the possibility of Facebook acquiring Bulletin.com on May 26th:

Whois records show that Bulletin.com is currently registered under Whois privacy at GoDaddy. Although Bulletin.com does not currently resolve to a functioning website, the nameservers give away that it is likely registered to a large company. The current name servers are LovellsNames.org, which belong to global law firm, Hogan Lovells.

Historical Whois at DomainTools records show the domain name was recently acquired. On May 19th, shortly before the Whois records went private, the domain name was registered to Hogan Lovells (Paris) LLP. On May 8th (and for quite a while before that), the domain name was registered to a New York-based domain registrant that owns quite a few stellar domain names.

Using DomainIQ, I am able to search the LovellsNames.org nameservers, and I see quite a few Facebook-related domain names resolving there. For instance, FacebookCreditCard.com, FacebookAnalysis.com, and FacebookFashion.com all utilize those nameservers. There are also other generic domain names that utilize those same nameservers and may not be owned by Facebook. Bin.com, Rooms.com, and Anchovy.com all have those nameservers.

If I were looking at the Whois records and history of Bulletin.com in a vacuum, I would definitely think there is a good chance Facebook acquired it using Hogan Lovells. I also think a 7 figure acquisition price for Bulletin.com seems pretty reasonable. It remains to be seen if Facebook bought the domain name, but I imagine it’s unlikely the actual sale price will ever be reported publicly.

About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. “Bulletin” is a dated term but it could become popular again. I thought “Portal” was dead, but I still see it being used.

    Facebook overpaid some, but not a lot. Bulletin.com probably worth 3-4 million IMO.

  2. Here’s Luigi from DomainEmpire.com
    Probably nobody knows we were in a private auction at NameJet for Bulletin.com few years back (it was an expired domain auctioned by NetworkSolutions). Strangely there were few bidders involved considering such auction didn’t get promoted. We were the second high bidders and I remember we left around $30k in favor of the winning bidder having the NJ id ‘newyorker’. Not completely sure but despite the nickname he was an active Korean domainer. Now we regret not having bidded higher for it but for sure he realized a big profit over this sale supposing the name didn’t change hands again before being acquired by Facebook

    • A $600k asking price turned into a $6m asking as soon as that Hogan Lovells header popped up in the inbox 😂
      Big companies think they’re super smart and sneaky by using a high end law firm as front but reality is you see them coming from a mile away. FB overpaid by $5m plus app. $50k in legal fees. sweet

  3. It has been owned by a big domainer for few years and this’s a fact considering we were the losing bidder at NameJet some years back (probably in 2013/2014, unsure about the exact period) after that I can’t know how many times it changed hands before being acquired by Facebook.

    • I don’t think that is correct. I don’t see any NameJet emails with that name (pre or post auction), nor do I see it listed on NameBio. Had it been sold during that period, it would have, at the very least, been in one of NameJet’s sales emails. I also don’t have any bidder records for it, and I’ve been an active active on NameJet.

      While the former owner owns some great names, I don’t think he would call himself a domain investor. I don’t know him personally though so that’s a guess.

  4. Lol unfortunately for me I remember quite well about that auction but I’ve no way to proof it having changed NameJet account in 2016 and not having obviously saved any screenshot. What I know for sure is that Bulletin.com didn’t appear in the hotlist at that time and for this reason there were just 4/5 bidders.
    If someone knew the ‘newyorker’ user and have a way to check the Bulletin whois for the years 2013/2015 … this will show his details. Not all NameJet auctions have been reported and another exception are Over40.com & Over50.com that we won in September 2014 (again not shown in their hotlist where we had just a couple of bidders against us).
    THis’s just a feedback to clarify my point of view and knowledge of facts of course while I’ve no idea of why such sales haven’t been ever reported by NameJet.

    • I looked at whois records at DomainTools from 2010 – 2015. I do not see anything that would indicate the domain name expired, so I do not think it came up for sale on NameJet.

      In fact, in 2012 before the domain name changed hands to the NY registrant, the expiration date was 2014. It seems to have been acquired by the registrant who sold the name some time in 2013.

    • Update:

      I searched my email and found one dating from when Michael Sugarman was working at NameJet and reporting NameJet sales to me (and other bloggers) on a monthly basis. I found an Excel file sent in an email from Michael in January of 2015. It has pages of NameJet sales above $2,000 for every month between June of 2011 through December of 2014. Bulletin.com was not listed.

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