There’s an interesting post today on the Groupon Blog, written by CEO Andrew Mason, about a lawsuit filed in Australia concerning a ccTLD and trademark issue.
The blog post discusses how the founders of an Australian Groupon “clone,” known as Scoopon, registered the Australian ccTLD, Groupon.com.au. In addition, the company filed for an Australian trademark on the term “Groupon” about a week prior to the US-based company’s own filing.
Mason discussed how this seemingly risky endeavor almost paid off handsomely for the domain and trademark registrants:
“As Groupon became internationally known, opportunistic domain squatters around the world started to buy local Groupon domain names, thinking that we’d eventually be forced to buy them at an insane price. In fact, we tried to do just that, reluctantly offering Gabby and Hezi Leibovich about $286,000 for the Groupon.com.au domain and trademark—an offer they accepted.“
Allegedly, Gabby and Hezi Leibovich later backed out of the deal in an apparent attempt to get the company to buy their entire Scoopon company. As a result, Groupon was forced to file a lawsuit in Australia.
Interestingly enough, Groupon is trying to use the power of group persuasion to get the domain owners to sell for the $286,000 offer. Mason is asking people to join the “Groupon in Australia” Facebook group to post a message on the wall encouraging Gabby and Hezi Leibovich to sell.
Afternic just released their sales report from the past week, and the leading public domain sale was InternationalFlowers.com, which sold for $19,558.00. This domain name had been owned by NameMedia’s BuyDomains.
In all, there was over $320,000 worth of publicly released domain sales for $2,000+ (.com) and $1,000+ (.net and .org).
This week’s domain sales from Afternic:
The web is littered with websites that basically send out spiders to fetch content and post it on their own websites. There are also sites that repackage the RSS feed from other websites. The objective is generally to monetize the little search traffic that comes for each post.
The owners of these sites often defend their action by saying that it can help the original site with SEO and may even send traffic to the original article if someone stumbled upon it via search engines.
It may seem like a small nuisance, but it’s actually a big deal and here’s an instance of where it may cost me A LOT of money.
A while back, I posted a few domain names for sale with the pricing. At the time, I was looking to move some names and priced them accordingly. One name didn’t sell and I still own it. I recently received an end user inquiry for the domain name, and the value is significantly greater than the price I set to sell to other domain investors.
My original post has been removed, but there are dozens of copies of it with the asking price on these aggregation websites that are supposedly helping my blog. Now I am stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I believe it’s just a matter of time before the inquirer says, “why should we pay $xxx,xxx for this domain name when you were willing to sell it for $xx,xxx so recently?” Comps of this particular name have sold for significantly more than my asking price, but it’s tough to justify such a huge price increase in a short period of time. It’s easy to say what I should tell them, but in a negotiation, it’s difficult to really justify this difference.
Sure, I could be happy selling it for that price since I would have been fine with it before. However, the situation and circumstances have changed, and it’s quite likely I will lose a significant sum as a result of aggregators indexing my original post.
(I do realize they may never be willing to pay the perceived value and may never have either. As with all negotiations, this one will be unique, but it’s tough to have this one particular facet of the negotiation in their favor.)
A few weeks ago, I learned that Gambling.com was put on the market, and Sedo was named the exclusive domain broker for this category defining domain name.
According to an article in Bloomberg this morning, the price of the domain name has been released.
If you want to buy Gambling.com, you need to spend at least $9,000,000, although the owners are hoping to make more than $10,000,000 for the domain name. I think this is a very optimistic number, especially in light of the Slots.com sale price of $5,500,000 last year (to online gaming genius Calvin Ayre).
Gambling.com is currently owned by a privately held UK company called Media Corp.