Over the Summer, Cnet published an article about how Google owns the Duck.com domain name. It was notable because of a popular upstart competitor in the Internet search space called DuckDuckGo. I am sure DuckDuckGo would have loved to own Duck.com, and from the looks of it, the company may have acquired Duck.com.
If you visit Duck.com right now, you will be forwarded to DuckDuckGo.com.
Over the weekend, Jamie Zoch first reported that Duck.com may have been sold to DuckDuckGo because it transferred to Namecheap and the nameserver records are the same as DuckDuckGo. I also saw the transfer in my DomainTools monitor email, and I sent an email to the Google press relations office as well as the Investor Relations team to ask if Google sold Duck.com. I have not received a response to my query, but I will follow up should I receive on.
Google acquired Duck.com when it acquired On2 Technologies, which was formerly called The Duck Corporation. Google forwarded Duck.com to its search engine page, and it later forwarded Duck.com to On2.com, where it explained the acquisition and shared a few links to other “duck” related websites.
Because Duck.com is registered under privacy proxy, it is not clear that DuckDuckGo now owns Duck.com. I will follow up with Google to see if they can confirm the sale, and I will also reach out to DuckDuckGo to see if the company can confirm that it acquired Duck.com.
I posted a poll this Summer, and the majority of voters believe the Duck.com domain name is worth $500,000 or more. Assuming DuckDuckGo acquired Duck.com, my guess is that it was a seven figure deal.
Hopefully there will be more to come…
Update: DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg provided a comment to me via email a moment ago:
“We’re pleased Google has chosen to transfer ownership of Duck.com to DuckDuckGo. Having Duck.com will make it easier for people to use DuckDuckGo.”
Second Update: A representative from Google’s media relations office responded to my email with a brief statement from Google:
“Google has agreed with DuckDuckGo, Inc. to transfer ownership and rights of the duck.com domain to DuckDuckGo.”
I asked if the company could comment about the sale price, but I was told there are no further details to share. It remains to be seen if DuckDuckGo bought the domain name from Google or if some other type of deal was reached. Perhaps we will learn more if either company mentions the Duck.com domain name in a subsequent SEC or IRS filing.