Microsoft acquires from same broker as


Could Microsoft be planning to launch its own social networking service to compete with Facebook and the new Google Plus?

What’s definitely not speculation is that Microsoft has acquired the four-letter domain name  Today, the Whois record revealed Microsoft Corporation as the new owner.

On July 2, I wrote about Marksmen the IP and brand protection company, who made headlines in June after co-brokering the sale of for $2.6 million.  In the article I wrote about how Marksmen had acquired the domain name just days after the deal was announced.

I speculated Marksmen may have acquired the domain on behalf of the new owner of (who has yet to be revealed) to use as a URL shortening service.

I did reach out for comment at the time to Marksmen, who replied via email on July 6, “Thanks for the inquiry. We can’t comment on the matter.” moved from Marksmen, then to Corporation Service Company temporarily this week, before the registrant information finally switched over to Microsoft in the last 24 hours. is still registered to an “ADV”, but no further information is provided. 

Because the identity of the buyer of wasn’t disclosed, it’s just rumor about Microsoft owning the $2.6 million name.     

Here’s a look at the Whois record of


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