Elon Musk on What it Took to Acquire Tesla.com

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How much did Tesla pay to buy The Tesla.com domain name? Elon Musk might have just revealed the price.

Tesla Motors operated its business in TeslaMotors.com for a number of years. In February of 2016, it was widely reported that the company bought the Tesla.com domain name. The purchase price of the domain name was not publicly announced though.

Late last night on Twitter, CEO Elon Musk commented about what it took to finally acquire the Tesla.com domain name:

It is unclear if the $11 million figure was the actual amount Tesla paid to buy Tesla.com or if that figure also includes additional costs or terms (such as legal fees or if this figure includes stock in the company which could fluctuate in value).

Now that Mr. Musk has publicly discussed the acquisition, it would be great if the Tesla Investor Relations team clarified the purchase price component a bit. It would likely be one of the largest domain name sales of all time.

21 COMMENTS

    • It sounds like he was talking about the Tesla Motors brand name in that interview and not the Tesla.com domain name he tweeted about buying.

    • That’s an important point. However, the car company would have lost for a variety of reasons as well, such as Mr. Grossman’s senior registration and use of the domain name.

      To be clear, the decision notes Mr. Grossman had registered and used the domain name on a chronology and for purposes which would, for the same reasons, defeat any hypothetical claim by the car company.

      (n.b. the identity of Mr. Grossman’s counsel is also noted in that UDRP decision)

  1. My bad! That link is of another Tesla Ind company. I can’t seem to find the Tesla Motors one. I also can’t seem to find the interview of Stu G and his wife in regards to Tesla Motors. Obviously they settled….

  2. I’m even more confused.
    His tweet indicates 11 million, but the 60 minutes interview reflects 75 K — “we didn’t even own the Tesla name”

  3. Let me try and clear up a couple of things.

    In the 60 Minutes interview, I believe Elon Musk said he bought the brand and possibly associated trademarks for $75,000. Separately, in the tweet last night, he said they paid $11 million for the Tesla.com domain name. These are two separate things as far as I understand.

    Secondly, a UDRP was filed against the Tesla.com domain name in 2005. This was not filed by the same Tesla company. You will note that the UDRP was filed by a different company called Tesla Industries, Inc. Musk’s company was called Tesla Motors. Regardless of that, the domain registrant won the UDRP proceeding and retained Tesla.com, which he later sold to Musk’s company.

  4. OK, thanks, Elliot. 75 K for the registered Tesla trademark — what a deal!
    Apple paid 30 million USD just to acquire the trademark iPad in China. And it paid 35 million USD and stock for the assignment of the iPhone trademark from Cisco for a mark it got by way of acquisition and it had never used.
    Who knows – maybe the guy in Sacramento got some stock and a car as part of the deal.

    • Yes, $11 million is cheap when you consider the deal could have included stock. For example, the original guy behind cool.com turned down $8 million in cash plus $30 million in stock.

      • Not many people would hold out for more, it is a high sale because 95% of people would sell when the fist $50,000 was offered.

        Selling for $11 million means rejecting $10 million. It means saying no for a decade!

        • I’ll bet the option of including both stock and cash or all stock was never even discussed and the seller never even thought of it. How hard would it have been for Musk to part with shares for the very best name and brand foundation for the entire Tesla enterprise?

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