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


Discussion: Search Engine Land


After co-brokering sale of for $2.6 million, Marksmen acquires the domain name

Marksmen's sales division, NameQuiver

Marksmen, the IP and brand protection company, who made headlines in June after co-brokering the sale of for $2.6 million, appears to have just acquired a related domain for one of its clients.

Whois records for the short four-letter domain name,, switched from YummyNames (by Tucows) to Marksmen this week.

 Domain Admin
 PO Box 10038
 Glendale, CA 91209

 Domain name: SOCL.COM

 Administrative Contact:
    Admin, Domain  domainadmin@
    PO Box 10038
    Glendale, CA 91209

Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.
 Record last updated on 30-Jun-2011.
 Record expires on 20-Oct-2011.
 Record created on 21-Oct-1998.

Being that Marksmen’s sales division, NameQuiver, just co-brokered to an undisclosed buyer, the name could have been acquired for the same client to use as an URL shortening service.

I’ve contacted Marksmen for further information and will update this post when I can.

News for $2.6 million: What about the domain for only $950?


The word on the street is that the domain name has sold for $2.6 million according to Ron Jackson of DNJournal

News of the sale created a flurry of interest online, with TechCrunch even publishing an article that included links to domain industry blogs that had covered the auction (including this very blog).

While news of the sale isn’t everywhere you look, you’d think the owner of the dotorg ( got the memo, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

Titan Networks, the owners of the dotorg, charge anywhere between US$950 and $4950 for their domains and that includes according to the website. 

All of our domains cost at least $950, so please don’t mail us requesting a quote if is not worth even that much to you. Similarly, please don’t send any offers of less than $950,” reads a message on the website.

Over the years a number of dotorgs have been some of the biggest domain sales such as for $1 million, for $440,000, for $198,000, and for $150,349.

Though it’s possible you could’ve picked up for a bargain at $950, it might be selling for more as a result of the sale. 

Ron Jackson indicated the seller Scott Carter used Marksmen, the same service used by companies like Electronic Arts who acquired and Microsoft who purchased the domain

[UPDATE June 23, 2011 8:56 PM: updated its home page today.  Don’t bother offering three or even four figures for the domain.  A message on the site now reads, “To address the dozens of people who have written to ask for our “price”, we’ll note the rule of thumb that org sites often sell for about 10% of the .com sale amount. So please don’t send offers below six figures.]

News goes dark after failed auction

Although received a $2.5 million bid at SnapNames by the time bidding closed online, it still fell far short of the $5 million+ price tag the owner Scott Carter was looking for.

Since the auction closed on June 15, the website has since gone offline.

Scott Carter who tweets under the username @Scott_Carter has been quiet on Twitter.

Who knows what’s to become of now.  But the domain that TechCrunch said could very well end up being one of the most expensive domain sales of all time, has turned out to not be such a hot commodity after all.

No details on a closed-door deal have emerged, but it’s certainly within reason. 

Last year’s auction of the domain by Moniker did not reach its reserve price during its auction, but 11 minutes after the auction closed, Moniker received a bid for 5.5 million USD via an absentee proxy bid as reported by Jamie Zoch of DotWeekly.


[UPDATED] $5 million and up reserve, receives no bids

With less than 12 hours left in bidding, the domain has received no offers at SnapNames, where the name is being auctioned as part of the Barcelona DOMAINfest Premium Auction.

SnapNames was forced to cancel the June 8th live auction in Barcelona due to technical problems with its website. 

The online auction includes other premium domains like and horseracing, but the featured name of the auction is which even made headlines in publications like TechCrunch who chatted with its owner Scott Carter.

“Carter put the domain up for sale in 1997 for $50,000, but had no takers for two years. He tried using the site to promote different businesses, including a social networking directory from 2007 to 2009 and most recently his Twitter tool BigTweet.”

The lowest bid that can be offered online is $2.5 million USD. 

However, Scott Carter is looking for a price tag of anywhere between $5 million and up.

Interest in social networking names is increasing with the rumored IPOs of companies like Facebook, which is being valued as much as $100 billion.

Online auctions rarely get a lot of activity until the final hours, so it should be interesting to watch whether the domain is sold today or in dealings behind closed doors with Moniker after the auction.

[UPDATE June 15, 2011 03:23 PM EST:  The online auction has ended without the reserve being met.]

[UPDATE June 15, 2011 01:25 PM EST:  DNN’s Adam Strong is reporting that has received a $2.5 million bid.]