Sedo have confirmed sex.com has officially been sold selling for $13 million in the highest value domain sale in history.Sex.com was sold to a Caribbean company based in the offshore tax haven of St Vincent and Grenadines by the name of Clover Holdings. The sale is easily the largest reported to date in 2010, beating slots.com that sold for $5.5 million according to Domain Name Journal, with gambling probably being the second biggest domain name aftermarket after pornography.The sale was brokered by one of Sedo’s senior domain brokers, Jeffrey Gabriel, who conducted a three-month search for a buyer on behalf of Escom in accordance with an order issued by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California.”We are very pleased with the fact that the bankruptcy process provided a basis for the sale of the domain free and clear of all creditor liens, which has now yielded this record breaking price,” stated Del Anthony, CEO/President of Escom.”It is very rare when a domain name of this quality and value becomes available, and we are pleased that Sedo was involved with this historic event. To our knowledge, this sale represents the single largest recorded price paid for a domain name in the history of the Internet,” said Gabriel.Escom acquired the domain in 2006 for a then record $11.5 million. Sedo’s recent $13 million sale of Sex.com now holds the record as the largest domain sale to date, which further demonstrates the continued demand for premium domains and the increasing value of Sex.com.Sex.com was last sold for $12 million to Escom LLC in 2006, the company that eventually went bankrupt not being able to make money on their purchase, and according to Kieren McCarthy who wrote a book on the sex.com saga, “has been unable to make Sex.com sufficiently profitable and was overdue on interest and debt repayments.”McCarthy recently wrote on his blog that “possibly the most interesting thing, apart from the peculiar behaviour of all parties yet again, is that the domain has gone up in price by only $1m in nearly five years.”McCarthy then raises a number of questions, these being:
- does this mean that Gary Kremen got a great price back in 2006?
- does it mean that the value of dot-coms, even Sex.com, is stabilising?
- or does it mean that the buyers kept Escom down to the original price because they knew Escom had no real choice?
While as of yet he is not sure, McCarthy believes it is most likely the third option that has had most bearing on the sale price.In other major sales over the last five years, Domain Name Journal reports the largest reported sale being fund.com, selling for $9,999,950 in 2008 while porn.com sold for $9.5 million in 2007.There have been other large sales that have included domain names over the years, but these have included intellectual property that was a large portion of the sale price. Two of these are insure.com, which sold for $16 million and insurance.com for $35.6 million.The troubled past of sex.com began back in 1997 when the registrant, Gary Kremen, noticed Stephen Cohen had fraudulently hijacked the registration details with forged documents. A long court battle ensued and Cohen won back the domain and a $65 million settlement. However Cohen quickly left the United States to Mexico leaving Cohen with a mansion and small house in San Diego and Tijuana respectively and none of the settlement.In 2005 Cohen was arrested, served a year in jail, but upon release began hacking the page and making unfounded slurs against Kremen.