NEW YORK, March 8 Sex.com, often touted as one
of the most valuable Internet domain names, is due to head to
the auction block next week.
DOM Partners LLC, a New Jersey lender that backed a 2006
purchase of the domain name for a reported $14 million, is
foreclosing on the Internet property, and is due to auction it
on March 18 at New York law firm Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf
LLP, according to legal notices.
Bidding for the Internet property, the tumultuous past of
which includes several lawsuits and two books, is due to start
at $1 million.
The auctions of simple domain names are seen as rare
opportunities for Internet entrepreneurs.
An auction for the www.pizza.com domain name in 2008
attracted bids above $2.5 million.
But if it is true that sex sells, sex.com may be the most
valuable domain name in the world. At one point, the website
was making at least $15,000 per day, according to a 2008 book,
The Sex.com Chronicles, by attorney Charles Carreon who has
represented a former owner of the site.
In January 2006, Escom LLC acquired the domain name from
Gary Kremen, founder of dating website Match.com and chief
executive of Grant Media. Kremen registered the sex.com domain
name in 1994.
A press statement announcing the 2006 sale said it was
"believed to be among the most significant domain sale
transactions in history." Terms of that deal were not
disclosed, but it has since been reported that the deal was
worth about $14 million.
DOM Partners' loan to Escom for the deal has been in
default for over a year.
"The loan was in default and DOM partners is foreclosing
pursuant to its right under the security agreement," DOM's
attorney Scott Matthews said.
Attempts to reach Escom and sex.com for comment were not
But Richard Maltz, an auctioneer at Maltz Auctions who is
running the sale, said on Monday there was considerable
interest in it.
"We don't know who's serious and who's not, but prospective
bidders need a $1 million certified check. It should be
Maltz said his firm was arranging for potential buyers to
also be able to bid online.
(Reporting by Emily Chasan)