RealTime IT News

Domain Sell Stands to Set New Record

Just months after business.com fetched $7.5 million, a new record may have been set for the sale of a domain name.

Canadian computer consultants Peter de Jager and Cliff Kurtzman stand to receive $10 million for the domain "year2000.com" which was sold over the weekend by online auctioneer eBay Inc. (EBAY).

eBay has not identified the buyer, although it did say 13 offers had been submitted by the close of bidding at 1 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. eBay said the purchase will not be finalized for three business days. The company estimates it will take a couple of days to determine if the bid is legitimate.

de Jager believes that eBay's reputation is resting on the legitimacy of the bid.

"If this is phony, it's a lot of egg on [eBay's] face," he told InternetNews.

"eBay has to have a reputation, as do all auction houses, of being a reputable place where a bid is a bid. If they lose that integrity, they they lose a tremendous amount of their value."

"I'm positive, espeically if this turns out to be a hoax, that there's a tremendous motivation on eBay's part to fix this type of problem."

The site currently using that domain will be moved once the sale is a done deal, the consultants said. It is currently being used for a site containing detailed information on the millennium bug. The bug, which was widely expected to cause problems across computer networks, has so far had a much smaller effect than initially expected. However, experts are still cautioning that glitches could be uncovered since most businesses are just now resuming normal operations.

The pair said they sold the domain name because they believe it can be put to better use now that the critical date has passed. de Jager suggested that the site be used to recognize the programmers who worked to fix the Y2K bug.

"We got to the point where we can say a 'Happy New Year,' where the problems that we've encountered are minimal," he said.

"That didn't happen by magic, that happened by blood, sweat and tears. And the fact that these people aren't being thanked, but instead are being chastised is reprehensible,...it's criminal."

The previous $7.5 million record was established after eCompanies, a new venture headed by EarthLink Network Inc. (ELNK) founder Sky Dayton and former Disney Internet executive Jake Winebaum, bought business.com.