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Google OUTBID on at auction

Speculator mows Chocolate Factory's grass

Google may have spent an estimated $1.5m on the Colombian domain name earlier this year, but it was outbid on in a recent auction by a domain investor.

The desirable address sold for £76,000 at a Nominet auction, according to a list of sales compiled by domain names guru Ty Hancocks and reported by the FT today.

The buyer was ANY-Web, a well-known domain speculator. It also bought for £65,000 at the same auction, despite the fact that is known for its interest in "o" addresses: it spent $350,000 on, which it is in the process of re-branding itself around, last year.

ANY-Web also spent tens of thousands on dozens of other domains, such as and, racking up a bill reportedly over £500,000 in total.

Speculators find one-letter and two-letter domains attractive because of their potential resale value. Short domains are particularly sought-after in the age of Twitter due to their possible use as URL shorteners.

Nominet in total sold or allocated 2,831 short .uk addresses, raising over £3m for the charitable Nominet Trust, the FT reported.

While domainers dominate the list of known sales, some big brands also saw success at the auction.

Facebook acquired for £19,500, according to Hancocks' list, and Mercedes-Benz picked up for £12,000.

In a previous phase of the short domain allocation process, companies including Yahoo! and B&Q exercised their trademark rights to get their hands on domains such as and ®

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