This ain't no cheap porn

This ain't no cheap porn

Company pays $11.4 million for the domain name www.porn.com (Our reporters read the articles thoroughly to bring you this story.)

They say that sex sells, and it would seem the dotcom industry wholeheartedly agrees with this sentiment. In a recent sale, the Web domain www.porn.com was bought in cash for a cool $US9.5 million (AUS$11.4 million). Or to put it another way, over 100,000 Playboy magazines.

The sale was made by the Florida-based Domain Asset Management provider Moniker.com, who sold the Porn.com domain to an 'Internet investment business' called MXN Ltd. MXN is affiliated with adult movie download site Downloadpass.com, as well as Pimproll.com, an adult Web site promotion company.

Obviously, the word 'porn' is synonymous with Web sites of this nature, and the $11 million dollar name is sure to bring in a huge number of hits. For example, it remains one of the most frequently googled phrases since the search engine's inception. Pimproll.com plans to leverage this boom in traffic by offering a multiplicity of premium products and services that will solidify porn.com as the web's leading adult portal.

Monte Cahn, co-founder and CEO of Moniker.com, said in a statement that the $9.5 million price tag for Porn.com is the second largest ever paid for a domain name, coming in behind (surprise, surprise) Sex.com, which sold for $12 million in 2005. Cahn said the price for Porn.com is the largest ever for an all-cash transaction.

"The sale of Porn.com further reinforces the growing trend of businesses that place a high strategic value on generic domains related to their industry," Cahn said. "Porn.com will prove to be a valuable asset for MXN Ltd because of its significant number of daily visitors, established type-in traffic in addition to being the top domain in the adult industry."

The owners of MXN Ltd could not be reached for comment at time of writing. But in a statement on its Web site, the company said it will not reveal its plans for Porn.com until it is ready. "The possibilities with Porn.com are limitless," MXN said. "To rush its development just to get something brand new 'live' would be foolish. We will carefully evaluate our options before we decide the direction we wish to take it." (Personally, we think the 'direction' will probably involve naked women. But we could be wrong.)

Porn.com was offered for sale at a live domain name auction in Las Vegas in March, but it never reached the reserve price after garnering bids in the $7 million range, according to Moniker.com. The sale was finally arranged this week after private discussions following the event.

Last October, the domain name Hell.com failed to sell in an online auction.

Another large domain name auction will be held June 19-22 at the World Association of Domain Name Developers conference in New York. Among the domain names to be offered for sale by Moniker.com are Bourbon.com, Horseracing.com, Student.com, Naked.com, Cardiology.com, Elections.com, BroadwayShows.com, Ethanol.com, Musicians.com and Jar-Jarbinks.com. (Okay, we made that last one up.)

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Chris Jager

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