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Here’s what Mike Mann thinks about new TLDs

June 11, 2012Domaining, Domainnamewire, Mike Mann, new tlds, UncategorizedComments Off on Here’s what Mike Mann thinks about new TLDs

He has an opinion on everything. Here’s what he thinks about new TLDs.

Last week I published comments from a number of domain industry professionals about what they think new top level domains will mean for domainers.

I think I forgot to tell Mike Mann to keep his comments to 100 words. So he came back with a smidge more, warranting this separate post.

Mann founded BuyDomains, later selling it to NameMedia. His company built up one of the largest portfolios of .com’s in the world. He has since started DomainMarket.

Here’s what he thinks about new TLDs:

DomainMarket.com will not apply for any new TLDs because buying those new assets is too risky, given practically unlimited decent possibilities for .com investing still. Why would someone take additional risks before they have exhausted the obvious low hanging fruit in premium .com domain values? Not to mention the related ability to consistently, competitively improve their google rankings and site conversions? And eliminate branding confusion; ride the coming flight to .com quality tide?

I am glad the players will be promoting domains in general and it will encourage more overall domain sales whether or not any ALT TLD sites get serious traction, which will be a small percentage compared to the corresponding .com match, that I may own.

The .com will get more traffic and brand recognition and go up in value irrespective of whether the inferiorly named competing brand succeeds or fails ultimately. I think the .coms that are truly premium are already worth much more than they sell for on average, and can only go up with the growth of the internet and “competing” TLDs, further reinforcing the need to fly to quality and control the best .coms at the expense of the confused masses who will eventually come around.

This article from Microsoft Labs helps clarify some of the many reasons why premium .com domains rule the Internet, “Domain Bias in Web Search”.

Also if we account for the fact one could use the .coms for years and they would only go up in value, it’s clearly a slam dunk to stay focused on the best lowest cost .coms until they are exhausted, before you take additional ALT TLD risks. Fleshing out the system could take years and we will probably find most ALT investors not appreciating their spoils, and finding they are and were confused.

I do own a robust portfolio of .co domains from Colombia and the best .org collection on earth and a lot of .net. But just the very best of those. Further down the quality line and confusion line you go, the greater the risk of your investment. So why increase risk?

.Co is a fantastic extension that even makes more sense than .com in many respects; shorter and stands for Corporation or Company, is universally recognizable, etc. But even that extension has to work hard to make a good living. I expect the vast majority of new entrants to dwarf .co in registration volume for those reasons. And people in general being oversaturated, confused, broke, and without time to study the deals.

.Coms will stand the test of time. If somebody builds something on .TV, then someone else builds it on .co.uk and .net, the value of the .com could skyrocket. .Com is king and will remain king, at least until the metric system is adopted by Americans. I’ll take 2 cents and a few million please, www.makemillions.com.


© DomainNameWire.com 2011.

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Related posts:

  1. Mike Mann Speaks His Mind about Sex.com
  2. Mike Mann Claims Sex.com Over $10 Million in Debt
  3. Sex.com Sale Still On, But Mike Mann Accused of “Self-Dealing”

Mike Mann Ordered to Transfer 21 Domains to Facebook

May 25, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, facebook, Mike Mann, Policy & LawComments Off on Mike Mann Ordered to Transfer 21 Domains to Facebook

Facebook awarded 21 trademark-infringing domain names.

A World Intellectual Property Organization panel has ordered BuyDomains founder Mike Mann and his company Domain Asset Holdings to transfer 21 domain names to social networking site Facebook.

The domain names all include Facebook plus an additional word, such as AboutFacebook.com, FacebookFest.com, and FacebookStuff.com.

The case was delayed at first over some confusion apparently caused by Mann’s legal team. The legal team apparently asked domain name registrar DomainDiscover to cancel the domain name registrations and the registrar complied. This put the domain names in pending delete status.

After realizing the problem, DomainDiscover went to .com registry VeriSign to get the domain names restored.

Mann did not respond to the complaint.


© DomainNameWire.com 2011.

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Related posts:

  1. Mike Mann Claims Sex.com Over $10 Million in Debt
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  3. Rick Schwartz Buys Deathers.com from Mike Mann

Judge Denies DOM Partners Motion to Dismiss Bankruptcy Case

April 21, 2010dom partners, Domaining, Domainnamewire, escom, Mike Mann, sex.com, UncategorizedComments Off on Judge Denies DOM Partners Motion to Dismiss Bankruptcy Case

Bankruptcy case to proceed for now.

A judge assigned to the bankruptcy case of Sex.com owner Escom, LLC has denied creditor and shareholder DOM Partners’ request to dismiss the case.

Three companies run by Mike Mann filed an involuntary bankruptcy petition against Escom the day before Sex.com was to be offered in a high profile auction in New York City. Mann argued that the best way to realize the maximum value from the sale of Sex.com was to hold an orderly bankruptcy auction using a skilled domain auctioneer.

Escom, LLC filed a formal response to the bankruptcy filing, saying that it agreed with the bankruptcy proceedings. That should come as no surprise to DOM Partners, which claims that Escom’s CEO reports to Mike Mann and that Mann effectively operates Escom.

The upshot of a bankruptcy auction is that the domain name could be auctioned free of all liens. But given the history of Sex.com, I’m betting we haven’t seen the last twist in this case.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. DOM Partners Fires Back at Mike Mann in Sex.com Case
  2. Judge Nixes Moniker’s Motion to Dismiss, Repercussions for Domain Registrars
  3. Mike Mann Claims Sex.com Over $10 Million in Debt

DOM Partners Fires Back at Mike Mann in Sex.com Case

April 13, 2010dom partners, Domaining, Domainnamewire, escom, Mike Mann, Policy & Law, sedo, sex.comComments Off on DOM Partners Fires Back at Mike Mann in Sex.com Case

Creditor to Sex.com says Mike Mann proves its point.

Sex.comDOM Partners, a creditor and equity investor in Sex.com owner Escom, LLC, has filed a reply (pdf) to Mike Mann’s opposition to DOM’s motion to dismiss bankruptcy proceedings against Escom.

In the reply, DOM Partners says that Mann’s opposition and declaration proves that he filed the bankruptcy case in bad faith to prevent a planned foreclosure auction of the Sex.com domain name.

Petitioners acknowledge crucial facts supporting DOM’s Motion for stay relief on the basis of bad faith. For example, they admit that Petitioners are controlled by Mr. Mann, that they are insiders of ESCOM, that they filed the Petition because ESCOM could not file a voluntary petition, that the filing was made solely to stay DOM’s UCC sale of the Domain Name, and that the Domain Name must be liquidated
(although they claim fhat it must be sold under the supervision of the Bankruptcy Court).

In a separate declaration (pdf), DOM Partners counsel Robert Seaman responds to Mann’s suggestion that Sedo should sell the domain name rather than New York auctioneer David R. Maltz & Co., Inc.

Although it is not necessary or appropriate to defend the commercial reasonableness of the UCC auction in this forum, I note that there were several reasons why DOM did not retain Sedo as the auctioneer for the UCC foreclosure sale. One reason is that David R. Maltz & Co., Inc. (“Maltz”), a well known auctioneer in New York, appeals to a wider pool of bidders. The “players” in the domain name industry to which Sedo caters were well aware of the auction as soon as DOM’s Notice of Foreclosure Sale was broadcast on the Internet and domain name industry message boards. Maltz’s marketing efforts led to widespread interest across all business sectors and a global awareness of the auction. Another reason is that Sedo sought a commission that was excessive given the expected amount of services involved. Payment of the additional fee for less effective marketing would have reduced the amount that DOM — and the other creditors and equity owners — would have realized from the auction.

Escom, LLC has yet to formally file a response to the bankruptcy proceedings.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. Mike Mann Files Objection, Says Sedo Should Auction off Sex.com
  2. Mike Mann Claims Sex.com Over $10 Million in Debt
  3. Mike Mann Speaks His Mind about Sex.com

Sex.com Investor: Give Sex.com Domain Name to PETA

March 30, 2010Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Mike Mann, peta, sex.comComments Off on Sex.com Investor: Give Sex.com Domain Name to PETA

Mike Mann plays along with PETA.

Sex.com investor Mike Mann is playing along with PETA’s request that it get the Sex.com domain name.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) grabbed some publicity earlier this month when it requested the domain name Sex.com be donated to it instead of auctioned for millions of dollars.

As it turns out, one of Sex.com’s investors — Mike Mann — is a long time vegetarian. He says he’ll accept PETA’s request, but under one condition: The IRS gives him a tax deduction for it:

Mann, a world expert on domain valuation, estimates the Sex.com domain name to be worth $50 million. As long as the IRS agrees to recognize the $50 million tax deductible donation, then Mann will donate his share of to PETA for their charitable works.

Other than getting the IRS to recognize a $50 million tax deduction, there’s one other problem: Mann doesn’t own the entire domain name or the company that owns Sex.com. As we found out yesterday, Mann has sunk more money into Sex.com than any of the other investors, but he is still just a part owner.


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

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  2. First Two (Unofficial) Days at Domain Roundtable
  3. Mike Mann Claims Sex.com Over $10 Million in Debt

Sex.com Dirt: Inside Details of What Went Wrong with Sex.com

March 29, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, escom llc, Mike Mann, Policy & Law, sex.comComments Off on Sex.com Dirt: Inside Details of What Went Wrong with Sex.com

New dirt on Sex.com exposed in court filings.

Documents filed in a bankruptcy case involving Sex.com owner Escom, LLC, provide intriguing details into who actually owns Sex.com and what went wrong with the company.

DOM Partners, a creditor and an investor in Escom, filed the papers in response to an involuntary bankruptcy filing initiated by Mike Mann against Escom to halt the auction of Sex.com.

In a motion to dismiss (pdf) the petition for bankruptcy, DOM alleges that Mann is “operating ESCOM” (the company that owns Sex.com) and “has been unable to repay DOM’s outstanding secured debt of $4,313,276.16″.

DOM Partners loaned $4.5 million to Escom in 2006, and also made an equity investment of $1 million. $1.5 million of the loan was later paid off by another investor — Nothin’ But Net, LLC — that received an equity stake in Escom. But the remaining $3 million loan became due on January 12, 2009 and was not paid. DOM gave notice of default on the loan the next day. It says it tried to negotiate to settle the debt, including the potential of buying Mann’s companies’ interests in Escom. It deposited $6 million in escrow for such a potential purchase.

When DOM made its initial loan to Escom in 2006, Mann’s Washington Technology Associates loaned Escom $5 million and invested $1 million as well.

Several other investors joined in, according to the filing: “Nuthin’ But Net, LLC”, which paid off $1.5M of DOM’s loan, “I95 Investment Group” invested $400,000 in equity, and iEntertainment has a $2.5 million junior secured loan.

According to the court filing, Escom is required to be managed by its three founding members — DOM, Washington Technology Associates, and Domain Name Acquisition Group — which must unanimously agree to file a voluntary bankruptcy petition. Domain Name Acquisition Group’s managers include Andrew Miller of Internet Real Estate Group and Built to Last, LLC, which is managed by Mike Zapolin, also with Internet Real Estate Group. Domain Name Acquisition Group invested $2,800 and “The Domain Name Rights” in return for 28 class A membership rights in Escom.

DOM claims that Mann’s Washington Technology Associates (WTA) manages Escom. Its CEO Del Anthony reports to WTA’s chairman, Mike Mann.

The filing states that Escom only has the domain name and “some cash” as assets. It has little income and just one employee, and no working capital to finance development of the domain name, according to DOM. In a declaration to the court (pdf), a lawyer representing DOM Partners claims it has been denied access to Escom’s books for the last year. A representative of Escom indicated the company has about $100,000 in cash.

By the time Mann filed the involuntary bankruptcy petition against Escom, several bidders had already been qualified for the Sex.com auction that was to take place the next day, claims DOM. These bidders had deposited $1 million and flown to New York for the auction.

DOM is asking the court to dismiss the “bad faith” bankruptcy filing so an auction can go forward. DOM believes an auction will satisfy at least the secured debt owed by Escom.

Other interesting documents filed with the court:

-Original loan documents for Escom including interest rates and repayment terms

-Notice of default, sent to Andrew Miller, who is known in the industry an investor/founder of Internet Real Estate Group. He is a manager of Domain Name Acquisition Group, which owns part of Escom.

-Escom LLC’s formation/LLC documents part 1 and part 2 with signature lines for Andrew Miller, Mike Zapolin, and Robert Seaman (attorney for DOM Partners)


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. Mike Mann Claims Sex.com Over $10 Million in Debt
  2. Sex.com Domain Name In Default for Over a Year
  3. Sex.com Investor: Give Sex.com Domain Name to PETA

Sex.com Dirt: Inside Details of What Went Wrong with Sex.com

March 29, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, Mike Mann, Policy & Law, sex.comComments Off on Sex.com Dirt: Inside Details of What Went Wrong with Sex.com

New dirt on Sex.com exposed in court filings.

Documents filed in a bankruptcy case involving Sex.com owner Escom, LLC, provide intriguing details into who actually owns Sex.com and what went wrong with the company.

DOM Partners, a creditor and an investor in Escom, filed the papers in response to an involuntary bankruptcy filing initiated by Mike Mann against Escom to halt the auction of Sex.com.

In a motion to dismiss (pdf) the petition for bankruptcy, DOM alleges that Mann is “operating ESCOM” (the company that owns Sex.com) and “has been unable to repay DOM’s outstanding secured debt of $4,313,276.16″.

DOM Partners loaned $4.5 million to Escom in 2006, and also made an equity investment of $1 million. $1.5 million of the loan was later paid off by another investor — Nothin’ But Net, LLC — that received an equity stake in Escom. But the remaining $3 million loan became due on January 12, 2009 and was not paid. DOM gave notice of default on the loan the next day. It says it tried to negotiate to settle the debt, including the potential of buying Mann’s companies’ interests in Escom. It deposited $6 million in escrow for such a potential purchase.

When DOM made its initial loan to Escom in 2006, Mann’s Washington Technology Associates loaned Escom $5 million and invested $1 million as well.

Several other investors joined in, according to the filing: “Nuthin’ But Net, LLC”, which paid off $1.5M of DOM’s loan, “I95 Investment Group” invested $400,000 in equity, and iEntertainment has a $2.5 million junior secured loan.

According to the court filing, Escom is required to be managed by its three founding members — DOM, Washington Technology Associates, and Domain Name Acquisition Group — which must unanimously agree to file a voluntary bankruptcy petition. Domain Name Acquisition Group’s managers include Andrew Miller of Internet Real Estate Group and Built to Last, LLC, which is managed by Mike Zapolin, also with Internet Real Estate Group. Domain Name Acquisition Group invested $2,800 and “The Domain Name Rights” in return for 28 class A membership rights in Escom.

DOM claims that Mann’s Washington Technology Associates (WTA) manages Escom. Its CEO Del Anthony reports to WTA’s chairman, Mike Mann.

The filing states that Escom only has the domain name and “some cash” as assets. It has little income and just one employee, and no working capital to finance development of the domain name, according to DOM. In a declaration to the court (pdf), a lawyer representing DOM Partners claims it has been denied access to Escom’s books for the last year. A representative of Escom indicated the company has about $100,000 in cash.

By the time Mann filed the involuntary bankruptcy petition against Escom, several bidders had already been qualified for the Sex.com auction that was to take place the next day, claims DOM. These bidders had deposited $1 million and flown to New York for the auction.

DOM is asking the court to dismiss the “bad faith” bankruptcy filing so an auction can go forward. DOM believes an auction will satisfy at least the secured debt owed by Escom.

Other interesting documents filed with the court:

-Original loan documents for Escom including interest rates and repayment terms

-Notice of default, sent to Andrew Miller, who is known in the industry an investor/founder of Internet Real Estate Group. He is a manager of Domain Name Acquisition Group, which owns part of Escom.

-Escom LLC’s formation/LLC documents part 1 and part 2 with signature lines for Andrew Miller, Mike Zapolin, and Robert Seaman (attorney for DOM Partners)


© DomainNameWire.com 2009.

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Related posts:

  1. Mike Mann Claims Sex.com Over $10 Million in Debt
  2. Sex.com Domain Name In Default for Over a Year
  3. Court Approves Toys.com Sale