Businesses going on-line have had the choice of using their brand name e.g. waterstones.com, building a brand name, such as Amazon.com, using a descriptive name e.g. ebooks.com or a quick and easy abbreviation like bol.com for example. For those who did not take the plunge immediately into the Internet world the options are narrowing. Building a brand name requires time and money and obvious names are often already taken. This leaves a gap in the market for the buying and selling of domain names.
One example of domain trading is the sale last year of business.com for $7.5m (over £4.5m) to a company who wanted immediate web presence. America.com is still for sale; bids need to exceed $10m though.
In South Korea the Industrial Bank of Korea is willing to lend money on the inflated value of a dot com domain name, seeing it as any other asset. Up to 30% of the market value of the domain will be lent, to the limit of £16,000.
Someone who hasn't as yet been able to get the name he wants is Alex Allen, the e-envoy; in issue 17 we said we hoped to tell you what he would be up to. The British government, responding to demands for out-of-hours access to government run services, were hoping to launch a gateway called UK online. Very clear and sensible, except for the problem that a company with the name is already trading and using the brand-name. They are currently 'in negotiations' about the use of the name, which the government hopes to be launching in October.
Site for domain trading: