Australian Liquidator Considers Domain Names Assets

The value of domain names is well known. And following Australian Style, which traded as the registrar Bottle Domains, being placed in liquidation following their recent dispute with auDA, liquidators for the company have put their domain names up for auction viewing the domains as assets of the company. It is possible this is the first time domain names have been considered assets in the liquidation of a company in Australia.

Bottle Domains had their registrar accreditation terminated by the .AU policy and regulatory body for what was considered a serious breach of its obligations under the Registrar Agreement. The issue goes back to February 2009 when auDA was notified by the Australian Federal Police that there had been a security incident which affected customers of Bottle Domains.

auDA subsequently discovered that Bottle Domains was the subject of an earlier security incident in April 2007, which auDA believes may have caused or contributed to the security incident in February 2009.

Bottle Domains failed to notify auDA at the time of the April 2007 security incident, which was a breach of its obligations under the Registrar Agreement. Bottle Domains also failed to take appropriate remedial security action and alert customers of the incident.

As a result the Supreme Court of Victoria ordered Australian Style Pty Ltd to be placed in liquidation in April 2011.

Following auDA’s successful proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2009, auDA’s costs of the trial payable by Australian Style Pty Ltd were assessed and fixed by the Court at $373,312.49. auDA then served a statutory demand for payment of that amount which Australian Style Pty Ltd failed to comply with.

Now the liquidator, Ferrier Hodgson, is attempting to recoup money to pay off debtors including auDA through the sale of its assets, including the domain names.

The domain names include domainnames.net.au, domainames.com.au, domainname.net.au and rr.com.au that are currently for auction on Netfleet with current bids of $3000, $2001, $1001 and $1011 respectively. The auction ends Tuesday 21 June.