GMO Internet, Inc. is a publicly traded company and one of Japan’s largest ISP and operator of the country’s largest domain registrar, today announced they acquired the domain name Z.com for JPY800 million which is at today exchange rates equals $6,776,448 USD.
GMO Internet a also an applicant for several new gTLD’s including .Shop and .Inc and is running the .Tokyo; .NAGOYA and .OSAKA new gTLD registries on behalf of each of those cities and .GMO as well.
GMO in the press release states Z.com is “one of only three single-character domain names currently existing in the .com space, Z.com is highly memorable and offers unparalleled marketing opportunity. With over 100 million registrations, .com is one of the most instantly recognizable and easily identifiable domains in the world. Z.com was acquired to spearhead GMO Internet Group global growth strategy, and securing “Z” under the .com Top Level Domain, provides the Group with a powerful tool to build a strong global brand.”
Only six exist one letter .com are in existence; Z.com. Q.com, X.com, and Z.com, I.net, Q.net, X.com.
Nissan Motors was the seller of the domain name and the original registrant
The domain which has been not resolving for many years.
“GMO Internet Group is an Internet services industry leader, developing and operating Japan’s most widely used domain, hosting & cloud, ecommerce, security, and payment solutions.
The Group also comprises the world’s largest online FX trading platform, as well as online advertising, Internet media, and mobile entertainment products. GMO Internet, Inc. (TSE: 9449) is headquartered in Tokyo, Japan.”
a steal of a deal i think but why were those the only single letter .com’s to be registered/available to register?
Wow! Astonishing sale! The largest this year.
Vendita Auto says
So much for auctions !!
Drew Rosener says
I think a well organized and publicized auction for Z.com would have brought 3 – 5 times that price.
You would offer $100k to buy it and then try to sell it for $20M.
That is your style of doing business as we all know you.
Drew Rosener says
Peter, I know it’s a hard concept to grasp, the whole trading for a profit thing…but it’s called Capitalism and it has been working for a long time. The problem is that it requires actually putting in WORK and not just playing arm chair referee and complaining like a little teenage girl. Would it be better to offer $20 million and sell it for $6 million?
@Drew, you didn’t get it or you play to be a dummie. We all know that to make a profit we have to buy for less and sell for more. The point here is that YOUR concept matches a profile of a lowballer, not a premium broker.
Drew Rosener says
I believe the word you are looking for is “smart”?
Because if your idea of good business is to offer more than you could actually get something for just for the sake of it, then god bless!
As a general rule, I try to buy something for the lowest possible price I can and sell it for the highest possible price I can, just like I do for my clients. It’s no wonder the world is such a mess if that is considered “evil” these days.
@Drew, go back to school and learn to read. I never wrote that my idea of business is to offer more than I could actually get…
Selfish people view themselves as a very smart persons. It is pretty common 🙂
Anyway, there is nothing wrong with the business you do. All I have pointed to is the naming of personality or business category that you fits. You are NOT a premium broker, but a lowballer.
End of story. Get a mojito. ¡Salud!
Drew Rosener says
Not sure which school you attended but in the school I went to “…business or category that you fits.” is not a grammatically correct sentence.
As I have said before (to those that can read & write) there are two sides to MediaOptions, our brokerage business and our owner operated portfolio business. Two entirely separate and distinct businesses. Michael Berkens (owner of this blog) has the same, Most Wanted Domains & Right Of The Dot. Frank Schilling has the same, Name Administration & DomainNameSales. Ammar Kubba has the same. Gregg Mcnair has the same. The list goes on and on and the one thing you might notice is that all the names on the list are a SUCCESS in this business. Funny that I must have missed your name?
Jon Schultz says
Andrew doesn’t need any help defending himself here, but really, “Peter,” an anonymous personal attack that someone is a “selfish” “lowballer”? That is very distasteful, at least to me.
Why don’t you tell us exactly who you are so we will all know who the saint among us is?
Ian Ingram says
Agree with Andrew… Seems like a fantastic deal for GMO.
Steven Sikes says
Curious. Does anyone know what Elon Musk paid fro x.com in circa 1999-2000? X.com of course was rebranded as Paypal.com.
Michael Berkens says
So your saying a one letter .com would sell for $25M-$35M in an open auction
I disagree with Andrew.
With so much alternatives coming in our way i think the sale was well balanced.
“Z.com is “one of only three single-character domain names currently existing in the .com space”
Why/how is this? Anyone?
Raymond Hackney says
In 1993, the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) explicitly reserved all single-letter and single-digit second-level domain names in the top-level domains com, net, and org, and grandfathered those that had already been assigned. In December 2005, ICANN considered auctioning these domains.
Only three of the 26 possible single-letter domains have ever been registered in the .com domain extension, all before 1992. The other 23 single-letter .com domains were registered January 1, 1992 by Jon Postel, with the intention to avoid a single company commercially controlling a letter of the Alphabet. Many but not all .com two-letter domains are among the most valuable domains.
While it is widely believed that the domains business.com and sex.com have been the most valuable domain transactions, prominent two-letter domains have only been sold after nondisclosed transactions handled by specialized broker and law firms.
Joseph Peterson says
$6.8 million or $68 million, the point is …
If they wanted a domain to turn heads and stick inside those heads, they got it.
According to GMO’s press release in Japanese, the three L.com available are q, x, and z. Also, they said the Z.com brand is used outside Japan. It looks like they are not ready to use just one, global brand. Inside Japan, they’re still sticking to GMO.
Remember, at this stage, the extension is not important to Japanese consumers as they use search engines (mostly Yahoo) to find things. (I’m running a website in Japan and 80% of my traffic comes from search engines with minimum SEO done.)
Adam Strong says
Solid deal for them. I agree with Andrew.
The most interesting aspect of this story to me though isn’t the price . A company that sells new TLDs bought a .com to rebrand for nearly 7 million dollars. Why do you suppose they didn’t just save the expense and use one of their new TLDs ?
But within Japan they are still sticking to GMO.jp.
At $6.8 million this was a great deal for the buyer!
Lets not forget it might also be a great deal for Mr Nissan as well. Hopefully Nissan swaps Z.com for Nissan.com and everyone winds up happy! The car company sold this too low. I agree that at a public auction this would have gone for a bit more. Over eight figures in my mind.
back in 2002, I setup a deal for Thunyan to buy i.net. What’s interesting is that we were told explicitly by ICANN & Verisign that a transfer of any of the few existing single character domains was not permitted, they had to stay with the original Registrant of record. In the i.net case that was a shell corporation, so the actual holding entity was purchased just to gain control of the domain. it is still registered that way today.
When did it become possible/permitted to transfer single character .com/net domains to a new Registrant?
Drew Rosener says
I was under the exact same impression as Cartoonz. I thought that the transfer of these names was not possible as well. I hope GMO did their homework and this doesn’t get pulled back by Verisign for “breaking the rules”.
Although I just look up registration on X.com and it now shows Ebay as registrant, PayPal before that and originally X.com Corporation. So I guess that one “transferred” registration as well…
This would be really hard for ICANN to enforce! If you check your agreement with your registrar it won’t say anything about not allowing ownership transfer of single character domains. ICANN does not force the registrars to put something in their TOS about this. And the RAA that registrars have with ICANN says nothing about this that I am aware. The only way I think non-transfer could be enforced would be if ICANN has specific agreements with the owners of these one character domains. Which I highly doubt they have.
Furthermore not only did X.com change hands between companies (Paypal to Ebay), but on 8/31/2008 X.com moved registrars from Network Solutions to MarkMonitor. Again, presuming there was no special work done to make this happen between ICANN and VeriSign (doubtful), this would prove there is not a registry lock on single character domains as well. Again, how would buyers/sellers of this domain know about this if the registry was not enforcing such transfers?
If you ask me, ICANN would be in gross negligence if they tried to put a hold on, or reverse the sale of Z.com. GMO Internet Group would have a very valid lawsuit if ICANN tried to do anything of the sort. Nissan would have a very valid lawsuit as well presuming they did not sign something directly with ICANN. Where are the rules / terms that say single character domains can not be sold/transferred? And even if a document exists somewhere, how in the world would the seller / buyer have known about it, especially when their agreement with their registrar does not prevent this? Neither Nissan nor GMO Internet could possibly know about some secret document that most domainers know nothing about!
you “presume” quite a bit. The restrictions were in place long before ICANN was even thought up, they were part of the original registration agreement with Verisign. Obviously, that later expired/changed/etc. but I assure you, it was there.
I believe you. In fact I have heard of this before, but never was able to confirm it.
As of today, I do not see those restrictions and I think there would be a lawsuit should someone try to prevent this sale from happening based on current contracts between ICANN and Registry; between ICANN and Registrar; and between Registrar and Registrant.
Thanks for clearing that up Raymond. Good stuff.
Yes, I agree, in auction this domain goes for 8 figures easily!