FRAMINGHAM (02/09/2000) - Bank of America Corp. has purchased the domain name loans.com for $3 million, the highest price ever paid for a domain name at auction, the company said.
It bought the rights to the domain name from GreatDomains.com on Jan. 28, according to a statement issued by the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank. The seller was San Jose computer consultant Marcelo Siero, who registered the domain name in September 1994 for creation of an e-commerce application but later decided to sell it, according to GreatDomains.com.
The dollar record for the sale of a domain name is held by business.com, bought for $7.5 million last November by eCompanies LLC in Santa Monica, Calif., from Houston entrepreneur Marc Ostrofsky. Earlier this year, a winning bid of $10 million for the domain name Year2000.com, which was up for auction on eBay.com was determined to be a hoax.
Bank of America spokesman Scott Scredon said the move was a strategic investment designed to strengthen the company's position as a leading lender in the U.S. At the end of last year, Bank of America, which operates in 21 states and Washington, had $370 billion in outstanding loans, including $175 billion in consumer loans, the company said.
Marketing loans, as well as its lending services via Loans.com, will enable Bank of America to expand its customer base and broaden its reach in the U.S. and Canada, Scredon said.
Scredon said he didn't know exactly when the Loans.com Web site would be set up to link visitors to the Bank of America home page. Today, browsers at Loans.com can read a statement saying the site "has been sold at auction for $3M to a large public institution."