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Breaking: NBC Transfers Women.com to Done! Ventures in Lawsuit Settlement

September 19, 2011benjamin padnos, Domaining, Domainnamewire, done ventures, nbc universal, Policy & Law, women.comComments Off on Breaking: NBC Transfers Women.com to Done! Ventures in Lawsuit Settlement

Busted seven figure domain name deal comes to resolution.

It looks like the end result of a legal battle over Women.com has ended with the transfer of the domain name to Done! Ventures.

Done! Ventures thought it had a deal to purchase Women.com and Women.net from NBC Universal for $1 million last year. But then NBC allegedly backed out when its then President & CEO Jeff Zucker apparently vetoed the deal.

Done sued NBC to get it to go through with the sale. It later sued domain name broker Sedo for $10 million for allegedly failing to enforce the deal.

Right as depositions in the lawsuit were to begin, the two parties struck a settlement.

Although the terms of the settlement haven’t been released, the domain names just transferred to Done! Ventures’ founder Benjamin Padnos today.

NBC acquired the domain names when it bought iVillage.com.


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Related posts:

  1. DONE! Ventures Reaches Settlement with NBC and Sedo Over Women.com
  2. Depositions Begin in Women.com Case with Sedo and NBC Universal
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Depositions Begin in Women.com Case with Sedo and NBC Universal

August 5, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, done ventures, lawsuits, nbc universal, sedo, UncategorizedComments Off on Depositions Begin in Women.com Case with Sedo and NBC Universal

Representatives of domain broker and NBC to be questioned over failed transaction.

Depositions will begin next week in a lawsuit over a failed transaction for Women.com and Women.net.

The suit was originally brought by DONE! Ventures against NBC Universal after the latter allegedly failed to complete a sale agreement for the domain names for $1 million. Sedo was later added to the suit for failing to enforce the agreement.

Next week in Boston Kathy Nielson, Jeremiah Johnston, Tessa Holcomb, and Jeff Gabriel from Sedo will be deposed. Both Holcomb and Gabriel are now with affiliates of PPX.

The following week in New York current and former NBC senior executives Jodi Khan, John Curbishley, Lauren Zalaznick, and Salil Mehta will be deposed.

DONE! Ventures also plans to depose former NBC Universal Chairman and CEO Jeff Zucker, who allegedly was the one to quash the deal.


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Related posts:

  1. Sedo Sued for $10 Million for Failing to Enforce Women.com Transaction with NBC Universal
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  3. Judge Sets Trial Date In Women.com Case

Sedo Asks Court to Dismiss Women.com Lawsuit on Jurisdiction Claims

June 7, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, lawsuits, nbc universal, Policy & Law, sedoComments Off on Sedo Asks Court to Dismiss Women.com Lawsuit on Jurisdiction Claims

Domain broker says lawsuit should not be heard in California.

Done! Ventures has fought and won a jurisdiction battle in its lawsuit over Women.com already. Now it has to gear up for another fight.

Sedo, which was recently added to the lawsuit originally filed against GE/NBC Universal for a failed transaction to purchase Women.com and Women.net, has asked the court to dismiss the case on jurisdiction grounds (pdf).

According to Sedo’s court filing, Done! Ventures agreed to Sedo’s Terms of Service. The Terms of Service state that all disputes would be settle according to the laws of Massachusetts in the jurisdiction of Middlesex or Suffolk County.

Done! Ventures sued NBC Universal after it says the media company backed out of a deal to sell Women.com and Women.net for $1 million. The alleged deal was brokered by Sedo.


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Related posts:

  1. Sedo Sued for $10 Million for Failing to Enforce Women.com Transaction with NBC Universal
  2. Judge Issues Rulings in Lawsuit Over Women.com
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Sedo Sued for $10 Million for Failing to Enforce Women.com Transaction with NBC Universal

May 17, 2011ben padnos, Domain Sales, Domaining, Domainnamewire, done ventures, nbc universal, sedo, women.comComments Off on Sedo Sued for $10 Million for Failing to Enforce Women.com Transaction with NBC Universal

Domain broker added to suit over failed Women.com transaction.

DONE! Ventures has added domain name broker Sedo to its lawsuit over a failed transaction for Women.com.

DONE! sued NBC Universal last year after it alleged the media giant failed to follow through with a transaction to sell Women.com and Women.net for $1 million. According to the suit, NBC Universal’s CEO at the time Jeff Zucker vetoed the deal after it had been agreed to. Sedo broker Jeff Gabriel managed the deal.

Now, apparently frustrated at lack of support from Sedo to enforce the deal, DONE! founder Ben Padnos has added Sedo to the suit (pdf).

“Sedo told us we had a deal,” Padnos said. “There’s no confusion around ‘Congratulations, the offer has been accepted’, as they told me on May 24, 2010.”

However, NBC has argued in court that they never authorized Sedo to bind the transaction. While that may be debatable, it appears Padnos found it necessary to add Sedo to the suit to add some firepower.

Padnos claims in the amended suit that he’s been damaged in excess of $10 million. In addition to asking for at least that much in damages, he still wants the transaction enforced — which was all he asked for in his original suit against NBC.


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Related posts:

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Judge Sets Trial Date In Women.com Case

March 7, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, done ventures, nbc universal, Uncategorized, women.comComments Off on Judge Sets Trial Date In Women.com Case

Judge plans on December trial over failed domain name transaction.

U.S. District Judge James Otero has set a December 13 jury trial date in Done! Ventures, LLC v. General Electric Company, et al.

The case pits a small California company run by Ben Padnos against NBC Universal over a failed transaction involving Women.com.

Padnos says that NBC agreed to sell him Women.com and Women.net for $1 million and has documentation from broker Sedo to prove it. But the documentation shows that NBC Universal CEO (at the time) Jeff Zucker allegedly personally vetoed the deal after a price was agreed upon.

NBC argues that a contract was never entered into.

It’s rare that a case like this ever makes it to trial. Expect a settlement along the way.


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Related posts:

  1. Judge Issues Rulings in Lawsuit Over Women.com
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Judge Issues Rulings in Lawsuit Over Women.com

January 23, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, nbc universal, Policy & Law, women.comComments Off on Judge Issues Rulings in Lawsuit Over Women.com

Both sides in case have something to be happy (and upset) about after judge issues rulings on motions.

A federal district judge has denied motions by both the plaintiff and the defendant in a lawsuit over the failed sale of Women.com.

Done! Ventures says it made a $1 million offer for Women.com and Women.net via Sedo that was accepted by NBC Universal. After NBC Universal allegedly backed out of the deal, Done! Ventures filed a lawsuit to force the company to complete the transaction.

On Friday the Honorable S. James Otero declined motions that were filed by both parties (pdf).

The judge declined Done! Ventures’ application for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction over what NBC can do with the women.com domain name as the lawsuit plays out. But the judge also declined NBC Universal’s motion to dismiss the case and, alternatively, to move the lawsuit to New York.

Otero noted that neither side had proved its case enough at this point to find in favor of their motions. It’s not proven at this point whether or not a contract was actually agreed to, so the judge declined to restrict NBCU’s use of women.com. Yet at the same time NBCU hasn’t proven that a contract was not made, so the judge declined to dismiss the lawsuit. Furthermore, the judge determined that moving the lawsuit from Done!’s home state of California to New York would unfairly burden Done! Ventures with little or no benefit for related parties.


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Related posts:

  1. NBC Tries to Wriggle Out Of $1 Million Women.com Sale
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DONE! Ventures Calls B.S. on NBC Over Women.com Deal

September 21, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, done ventures, lawsuits, nbc universal, Policy & LawComments Off on DONE! Ventures Calls B.S. on NBC Over Women.com Deal

Company continues push to make NBC honor sale of Women.com and .net.

DONE! Ventures has filed an opposition (pdf) to NBC Universal’s Motion to Dismiss its lawsuit over a failed transaction for Women.com and Women.net.

DONE! had agreed to purchase the two domain names through NBC’s broker Sedo for $1 million. However, NBC backed out of the deal after it was allegedly vetoed by NBC Universal President & CEO Jeff Zucker. DONE! sued to force NBC to complete the deal.

NBC then filed a Motion to Dismiss, arguing that a contract for the deal had not been formed. Its chief reason was that there was no “meeting of the minds” since DONE!’s communication with Sedo mostly referred to Women.com and not the .com and .net.

This is rather suspicious given that NBC pulled completely out of the deal rather than going ahead and suggesting they complete the deal at $1M for just women.com.

In its response to NBC’s Motion to Dismiss, DONE! says that both domains were marketed as a pair throughout the process. Sedo’s sales page for Women.com even mentioned that a sale included the .net version. DONE! drew an analogy to buying a house:

By analogy, a real estate broker may market a picture of a home on the Internet as being for sale but the detail page includes a reference to the home, a garage, and a yard. The real estate buyer is purchasing the entire package, not just the home in the picture. Here, defendants’ detail page made clear that something more then Women.com was included: two domain names were part of the offer.

Along with opposing the motion to dismiss, DONE! filed declarations (pdf) from its founder Ben Padnos (an early Yahoo! employee) and domain broker Alan Hack, who assisted Padnos with the transaction.


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Related posts:

  1. DONE! Ventures Sues NBC Universal Over Failed Women.com Deal at Sedo
  2. NBC Tries to Wriggle Out Of $1 Million Women.com Sale
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NBC Tries to Wriggle Out Of $1 Million Women.com Sale

August 31, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, done ventures, lawsuit, nbc universal, Policy & Law, sedo, women.comComments Off on NBC Tries to Wriggle Out Of $1 Million Women.com Sale

NBC wants lawsuit over domain name dismissed.

NBC Universal has filed a motion to dismiss (pdf) a lawsuit filed by DONE! Ventures over DONE!’s failed purchase of Women.com. DONE! claims it had an agreement to buy women.com and women.net from NBC, and that NBC later backed out of the deal that was brokered by Sedo.

NBC’s first line of defense is that it hadn’t reached an agreement with DONE! because communications only referred to Women.com, not .net — so key terms hadn’t been agreed to:

The Complaint makes clear on its face that no binding contract was formed because there was no meeting of the minds on a material term: the property for sale. Plaintiff alleges that it made a $1 million offer for two domain names: women.com and women.net. Yet, the correspondence from the NBC Defendants’ broker, which Plaintiff attaches to the Complaint and specifically incorporates by reference, states that the NBC Defendants would accept $1 million for women.com alone. Thus, the parties never agreed on what could be purchased for the $1 million price.

Its second line of defense is that Sedo told DONE! it would need to complete a bill of sale with NBC before completing the transaction. NBC argues that no bill of sale was completed, so there was no breach of contract:

Further, the parties’ correspondence states that the NBC Defendants required specified information about the Plaintiff and the completion of a bill of sale before a deal could be consummated. As Plaintiff admits in the Complaint, no bill of sale was ever drafted or signed. Therefore, even if the parties had reached a meeting of the minds about what property was for sale and at what price, which they did not, at most, there was an unenforceable agreement to agree. Plaintiffs breach of contract claim thus fails as a matter of law.

If the court doesn’t buy either of these arguments, NBC wants it to move the case from California to New York.

So here’s the (literally) million dollar question: if DONE! would accept just the .com domain for $1 million, would NBC go through with it?


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Related posts:

  1. NBC Universal and DONE! Fight Over What to Do With Women.com
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NBC Universal and DONE! Fight Over What to Do With Women.com

July 7, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, done ventures, ge, lawsuits, nbc universal, Policy & LawComments Off on NBC Universal and DONE! Fight Over What to Do With Women.com

Domain name losing value as lawsuit works its way through the courts.

DONE! Ventures lawsuit against NBC Universal and General Electric Company has been moved from state court to U.S. District Court, and there the parties are fighting over what to do with the domain names pending trial.

As background, DONE! sued NBC after a deal by the former to purchase Women.com and Women.net for $1 million fell through. DONE! is asking for NBC to follow through on the deal, which allegedly was overruled by NBC Universal’s CEO after the deal was agreed upon.

Now the question is what to do with Women.com and Women.net pending the outcome of the case. DONE! says that the links pointing to Women.com and the domain’s page rank are a big part of the value of the domains. After the suit was filed, NBC pointed the domains to a dead web page, which could have resulted in losing the search engine juice. The domains were then forwarded to NBC’s iVillage.com web site.

DONE! is asking the court for a temporary restraining order to transfer the domains to a third party, which can then put some content on the sites to hopefully save some of the search engine value.

Here are the relevant court documents:

DONE! Ventures application for temporary restraining order for Women.com and Women.net

GE response to DONE! Ventures motion for temporary restraining order


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Related posts:

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