Korea's Thrunet Acquires Korea.com Domain for $5M

TOKYO (03/09/2000) - Korea Thrunet Co. Ltd. said yesterday it has paid US$5 million for the "korea.com" domain name.

The transaction is the second largest reported sale of a domain name, following the high profile purchase of "business.com" last November by ECompanies LLC in Santa Monica, California, from Houston, Texas, entrepreneur Marc Ostrofsky.

[See "ECompanies Buys Business.com Name," Dec. 1, 1999].

Thrunet, which provides broadband Internet services over cable television networks in South Korea, said in a statement it plans to create a portal site at the location and purchased the name because it believes it will become "the most recognized site in the country."

The company had already staged a publicity coup in late 1999 by listing on the Nasdaq market in New York under the "KOREA" ticker symbol -- also becoming the first Korean company to stage an initial public offering in the U.S.

The domain name was purchased from San Diego, California-based TIAC C&C Corp., which is run by Korean-American Lee Hee-joon and previously was home to the company's own Korea-focused portal which disappeared without much warning as soon as the deal was signed. Among other domain names the company also owns is seoul.com which is positioned as a community for businessmen.

Korea Thrunet, in Seoul, can be found online at http://www.thrunet.com/.

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