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Overstock.com: a registry’s best friend

Kevin Murphy, September 21, 2011, 16:25:20 (UTC), Domain Registries

O.co, the company formerly known as Overstock.com, has bought the domain name o.info directly from registry manager Afilias for an undisclosed amount.

It’s the first single-character sale Afilias has announced since ICANN gave it the go-ahead to release one and two-letter names from reserved status in April 2010.

What makes it particularly interesting is that O.co has agreed to build a separate web site at o.info, using the domain for the purpose suggested by the TLD string.

The idea of allocating a valuable name to a big brand in exchange for a use commitment – the “founders program” model – is of course now a standard part of a TLD registry’s marketing toolkit.

It’s more unusual too see the same tactics used to promote a decade-old gTLD.

O.co CEO Patrick Byrne said in a statement:

We will use O.info as a website destination to consolidate useful consumer information. The .info domain is the logical destination for visitors to find product information, user manuals, buying guides, manufacturer and brand reviews, video demonstrations and recall notices.

The price has not been disclosed. It could easily be in the six-figures, extrapolating from the $350,000 the company dropped on o.co last year.

On the other hand, it could be lower.

I feel certain that .CO Internet would have handed over o.co for free if it had known how much great publicity it would bring; it’s possible Afilias may have sacrificed part of its windfall in the hope of reaping some marketing benefits too.

It has 25 more letters to sell, after all.

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Comments (9)

  1. Rich says:

    Overstock latest commercial on the matter:
    YouTube

  2. M says:

    Will they’re recent purchases of single char .several tld’s and renaming to o.co also known as Overstock.com give them any advantage over anyone else when o.com goes on sale? Seems that they think so.

    I think it will give them as much advantage as it will give anyone that has the first press release announcing a plan to launch .something

  3. KD says:

    We have to assume it is a play to eventually get O.com. Not to mention Overstock owns about 10 live trademarks for “O.COM”

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I don’t agree that this is about the .com.

      Overstock has rebranded its entire company around its o.co domain. It’s named a sports stadium after it.

      Rebranding again to the .com would be an enormous undertaking. It would cost millions.

      I can’t see it happening any time soon, even if it does get its hands on o.com

  4. 100% a play to get O.com.

    Also, they are not “formerly known as Overstock.com.” O.co points to Overstock.com and their tagline reads: “Also known as Overstock.com.”

    And as far as rebranding the stadium, all they need to do is add an M 🙂

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      If you’re correct, it’s going to turn out to be the most expensive .com in the history of the internet. And the dumbest strategy to get it, too.

  5. Rich says:

    David@
    it would be much cheaper when o.com comes along,to just spend 10 million dollars to get it then to go thrugh so much change.I disagree with you

  6. The dead giveaway is that they are not abandoning their dotCom. O.co points to it. If they go to dotCO on the main site they know it will crush their argument to get O.com.

    C’mon guys. This is fairly obvious.

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