Tuesday 26 September 2017

Big companies like Facebook and Google bid for shortest domain names

John Bingham

Facebook, Google and Mercedez Benz were among big name companies which reportedly bid in an auction of pithy new UK domain names which included several single letter addresses.

Domains such as x.co.uk and O.co.uk were among the most sought-after addresses on offer in the latest auction by Nominet, which runs Britain’s web infrastructure.

Twelve single letter web addresses fetched an average of £39,000 (€45,000) each in the sale.

The auction helped raise £3 million for the Nominet Trust, a charity which promotes safe internet access.

Facebook snapped up the address fb.co.uk; Mercedez Benz bagged mb.co.uk and the clothing retailer H&M secured the decidedly regal hm.co.uk, according to the Financial Times.

But the desirable address g.co.uk went to an internet investment firm, which specialises in domain names rather than to Google, according to the newspaper.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development managed to secure the memorable address hr.co.uk.

One investor is said to have bought 170 potentially lucrative domain names for a total investment of £500,000.

But the auction process also attracted several enthusiasts motivated more by a “collector mentality” than by the prospect of lucrative resale prospects.

“It was an auction of the most significant internet real estate to come on the market ever,” one investor told the newspaper.


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