Which domain name just sold for $9.5M?

Hint: It starts with a 'p' and ends with an 'n'

It's said that everything has a price -- and the price paid recently for the Porn.com Web domain is $9.5 million, cash.

In an announcement today, Pompano Beach, Fla.-based domain name registrar and reseller Moniker.com said Porn.com was bought by Detroit-based MXN Ltd., an Internet media and investment business. MXN is affiliated with Downloadpass.com, an adult movie download site and Pimproll.com, an adult Web site promotion company.

Monte Cahn, co-founder and CEO of Moniker.com, said in a statement that the $9.5 million price tag for Porn.com is the second largest ever paid for a domain name, coming in second to the $12 million paid for Sex.com in 2005 in a private sale. Cahn said the price for Porn.com is the largest ever for an all-cash transaction.

"The sale of Porn.com further reinforces the growing trend of businesses that place a high strategic value on generic domains related to their industry," Cahn said. "Porn.com will prove to be a valuable asset for MXN Ltd. because of its significant number of daily visitors, established type-in traffic [and the fact it's] the top domain in the adult industry."

The owners of MXN Ltd. could not be reached for comment today. But in a statement on its Web site, the company said it's not yet revealing its plans for Porn.com. "The possibilities with Porn.com are limitless," MXN said. "To rush its development just to get something brand new 'live' would be foolish. We will carefully evaluate our options before we decide the direction we wish to take it."

Porn.com was offered for sale at a live domain name auction in Las Vegas in March, but it never reached the reserve price after garnering bids in the $7 million range, according to Moniker.com. The sale was finally arranged this week after private discussions after that event.

Last October, the domain name Hell.com failed to sell in an online auction.

Another large domain name auction will be held June 19-22 at the World Association of Domain Name Developers conference in New York. Among the domain names to be offered for sale by Moniker.com are Bourbon.com, Horseracing.com, Student.com, Naked.com, Cardiology.com, Elections.com, BroadwayShows.com, Ethanol.com and Musicians.com.

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Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.

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