GoogleMeet.com appears to have expired at the end of January, and the domain name made it through the deletion process. The domain name was then caught by drop catching auction platform DropCatch.com, and GoogleMeet.com was sold for $1,950 on Friday. The sale was confirmed and archived in NameBio, and it was shared on Twitter:
4-17-2020 top 10 publicly reported domain sales.
Bit of a strange day … I even saw https://t.co/J1IFWHhNDs sell for $1,950 on DropCatch.
Unless the buyer is Google, that is cyber-squatting and I don’t recommend anyone purchase infringing domains like that one. pic.twitter.com/clhsk3mbIU
— Josh.co |🌐💡| (@JoshDotCo) April 18, 2020
GoogleMeet.com is registered under Whois privacy at NameBright, and the domain name has a standard “coming soon” page from the domain registrar. This makes it impossible to know who purchased the domain name, especially since I was not following the auction live and do not know the bidding handle that won the auction.
What is most interesting to me is that the GoogleMeet.com auction was held just after Google’s Hangouts Meet service was rebranded simply as Google Meet, as covered by The Verge. Google uses the Meet.Google.com subdomain for its Google Meet website.
I would be interested to see if Google acquired the domain name in auction. I can’t imagine this domain name was not on the company’s (or its domain name management team) radar. With the auction price of $1,950, there must have been multiple bidders participating. I would imagine Google is probably the only entity that could use the domain name without legal risk.
Not as bad as spending $80K on khols.com but ill-advised all the same if the buyer was not Google/Alphabet.