RealTime IT News

Excite@Home To Sell Domain Portfolio

How much would you pay for Stuff.com or Home.net? Officials at Moniker.com hope you'll pay a lot after agreeing to represent the now-defunct Excite@Home in the sale of its domain-name portfolio Wednesday.

Domain-name registrar Moniker.com will sell the 119 domain names held by the At Home Liquidating Trust, the company that's been holding what's left of the Excite@Home empire formed in the mid-1990s.

The company also plans to sell certain trademarks associated with the domain names.

It already has the $285,000 purchase of Shoppingcart.com by e-commerce site Monstercommerce.com under its belt.

It's highly unlikely Moniker.com will strike gold like Mark Cuban, who sold Broadcast.com for $5.7 billion to Yahoo at the height of the dot-com bubble in 1999.

But Jay Berkowitz, a Moniker.com spokesman, said the company expects to realize more than $1 million from the sale of the 119 domain names, mainly because of the value of the short-name Internet addresses that are always in high demand in the Internet community.

"Shorter is better, memorable is great," he said. "Every word in Webster's English dictionary has already been purchased, and every two-, three- and four-letter combination has been purchased by speculators if not by real people."

The people holding those short names are not about to let them sell cheaply, he said, so when you get a word like Stuff.com or Home.net that goes up on the market, it's going to sell well.

Outside Shoppingcart.com, Berkowitz said Stuff.com and Home.net have the best chance to deliver a big sale. Other domain names in the portfolio include Mystuff.com and Firstyears.com.

The domain-name sell-off is the latest chapter in the story of the once-powerful Excite@Home.

The company, the $6.7 billion marriage of the Excite Web portal and the @Home broadband ISP, was forced to declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the San Francisco courts in 2001.