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German domain (and business) purchased for 31 million pounds

     
9:45 pm on Jun 30, 2004 (gmt 0)

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According to today's London Evening Standard, Lastminute.com bought the Lastminute.de domain name for 31 Million UK pounds sterling, although this did include the existing lastminute.de business
4:03 am on July 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Very big bucks, I'd say.

Here's a bit more detail:

While it's not particularly surprising that Lastminute.com, the "on a whim" travel group, has snapped up a rival business, it surprised a host of German holidaymakers who thought Lastminute owned it already. Confusion about the two companies has persisted since Lastminute.com entered the German market four years ago, as the two companies share the same name.

...Overall the dotcom darling's lastest buy appears sensible and establishes it as one of the biggest online travel and leisure groups in Germany. Germany is also the largest single European travel market.

Telegraph.co.uk [money.telegraph.co.uk] (second article on the page)

3:19 pm on July 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Actually your posting is a bit misleading:

They did not buy the domain with some business but rather the business including the domain.

lastminute.de is one of the most successful companies in the german online travel market with massive revenues. As you might know germans travel more than any other people because they commonly have 6 weeks of vacation per year.

So lastminute.com basically wants to get a much bigger marketshare with this aquisition.

3:20 pm on July 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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See what happens when you faff about and don't get a proper EU / worldwide trademark? :)
3:30 pm on July 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The headline for this post should be changed.

They bought a business not a domain.

3:44 pm on July 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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This is a perfect example of why .com really dosent matter.. you can build a very very profitable business on any extension.

Yes, it was the business they purchased ..a busines s built on .DE ..

5:32 pm on July 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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In other news, AOL pays $400M for the domain name Advertising.com.

sorry, had to be said, :)

7:28 pm on July 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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According to todays Daily Telegraph, lastminute.de only had net assets of 192,000 UK pounds sterling.

The title of my original post was changed by an editor. It did read "Lastminute.com buys Lastminute.de"

Richard

10:59 pm on July 1, 2004 (gmt 0)

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6 weeks of vacation per year.

Must... Live... In... Germany...!
7:06 pm on July 5, 2004 (gmt 0)

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this press release [cws.huginonline.com] gives some more details.

"Passenger numbers in the business have been growing since 2001 and during the year to 31 December 2003 total transaction value (TTV) amounted to 49.3 million from 115,000 customers. The lastminute.de businesses achieved gross margins of approximately 16% in the last reported financial year to 31 December 2003. For the year to 31 December 2003 lastminute.de delivered 2.6 million of profit before tax and had net assets 0.2 million." so it was quite a business but probably not a business that lastminute.com had an interest in except for the domain name.

@mac: my company is always looking for talented coders and our employees get the full 30 (working-days) holidays. shall I drop you a mail - still got your business-card ;-)