The domain name twitter.co.uk, which was until recently listed for sale with a £30,000 ($47,000) price tag, is now owned by Twitter.
The domain now redirects visitors to twitter.com, and Whois records last updated a week ago show that it is now registered to the San Francisco-based company.
Until recently, twitter.co.uk led to a page calling itself a “thorn in the side of American imperialism” and containing a lengthy rant about the microblogging service, which The Guardian reported on in 2009.
It also, since April 2010, carried this notice:
This domain is for sale at offers over £30k. This valuation is based on the fact that I devoted 9 months of my life working on my own t.w.i.t.t.e.r. project in 2005. I have offered the domain to Twitter Inc, giving them “first refusal”, and as they turned me down I am now offering it to anyone else who may be interested. Obviously there are limits as to what you would be allowed to do with the domain and you should familiarise yourself with Nominet’s policies and, in particular, its Dispute Resolution Service (DRS)
The previous owner registered the domain in early 2005 for his own legitmate purposes, well before Twitter itself launched, so it was by no means a case of cybersquatting.
The domain would, of course, have been considered untouchable for any sensible domainer.
Nominet, the .uk registry, currently has no record of Twitter ever bringing a complaint to its DRS, so it seems likely that Twitter had to put its hand in its pocket to acquire the domain.
(Hat tip: @MathewCoUk)