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22 Jan 2001 auction a fake!

Keep your $85 million - is not for sale after all. The alleged auction of the "most expensive domain name in the world" turned out to be a media-stunt.

The German Internet platform announced last week that it had been asked to oversee the auction of the Web address, which is currently owned by Gary Kremen from San Francisco, for an incredible $85 million.

It has now emerged that Domshop lied to the press and put out a fake statement on its website in an attempt to gain publicity, the German weekly Der Spiegel revealed on its website. Mr. Kremen has no plans to sell the web address.

"Of course we would have liked to sell, but unfortunately the real owner doesn't want to sell," Domshop said in a statement.


Last week Robert Mohrer, a Domshop spokesman, had told Der Spiegel that there was a huge interest in buying the Web address. He said "sex" was by far the most searched-for term on the Internet and that whoever ended up owning the site would virtually have "a license to print money".

The price would have set a new record. To date the most expensive domain name ever sold is, which went for a meagre $7.5 million, Domshop said in a statement. The second most expensive domain name sold so far,, changed hands for $5 million.

The American Stanford graduate Gary Kremen secured the rights to a number of promising domain names, among them, in 1994 and registered them under his company Online Classifieds.



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