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Business.com sold for $340 million - $360 million

     
10:50 am on Jul 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The Web's original high-price domain name has been sold again -- for another lofty price.

Telephone-directory company R.H. Donnelley Corp. clinched a deal for Web-based marketing directory Business.com Inc. for between $340 million and $360 million, according to a person familiar with the transaction.

[online.wsj.com...]

12:42 pm on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The once slumbering, then lumbering yellowpage/directory giants continue to . . slowly . . somewhat ineffectively . . search for solutions to their declining relevance in the search for business . .

It's a start.

Now, at least, they own the name.

[edited by: Webwork at 5:41 pm (utc) on July 26, 2007]

1:00 pm on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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[money.cnn.com...]

R.H. Donnelley's Triple Play(TM) business-to-consumer integrated marketing solutions will also benefit from a significant infusion of leading-edge search and directory technology and interactive thought leadership from Business.com, particularly in the areas of performance based advertising technologies and corresponding ad network capabilities.

I would imagine it is much more than just a domain name buy

2:00 pm on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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>>it is much more

Yes, it is more.

5:46 pm on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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How do you spell inflated? I was pretty sure it started with an I, but it looks like it starts with a B.
5:47 pm on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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But is it really worth between $340 million and $360 million?

They'll need a great strategy to turn a quick profit on this investment.

5:59 pm on July 26, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The reference to owning the name was made with tongue firmly planted in cheek.

Though business leads are one of the juiciest, if not ultimately the juiciest, fruit in the PPC/lead orchard the issue with Business.com will always be whether the domain controlling entity offers as unique and compelling value as the domain-as-brand itself does.

In other words, can they outperform the domain?

"So, you got Business.com. Pretty good stuff there kid. Now what? What else ya got? Whatdaya got that the rest of those bums don't got?"

One sets oneself to an awfully high standard by marrying one's business operations to this domain.

At least they have two pretty good minds that I know of (hopefully) working on their new project. ;0)

[edited by: Webwork at 1:56 pm (utc) on July 27, 2007]

12:52 am on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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It seems like a lot, but who knows? Perhaps 1-2 years of income? If the owner of utube.com can generate $162k a year from the ads and traffic they get, one can only imagine what business.com must be pulling in...
1:08 am on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Buying technology? Pull the other one, it's got bells on it. I'm pretty sure there's not as much technology behind Business.com as there is behind the average wordpress blog... This has got to be some kind of tax-reduction scheme or similar.
1:11 am on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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The marketing folks at R.H. Donnelley Corp should all be fired. People just don't get it. The name doesn't make the site - its functionality does.

Google
Yahoo

These "words" didn't even exist 15 years ago.

1:47 am on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Billy, you want to take over? We really need some seasoned advice.
1:48 pm on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I see you haven't read Gulliver's Travels, BillyS.
5:13 pm on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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aarrrrgggghhhh!

Well, I guess we can expect the price to get into their directory to go up now.

They have to get that money back, I think we are going to be paying for it.

7:01 pm on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Rugles,

They are not the only game in town...

8:23 pm on July 27, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I am aware of that.

They are on my "must do" when I launch a new ecom site or a site that is in it for the long haul. You get links quick and a little bit of traffic. I thought it was a pretty good deal.

2:50 pm on July 30, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I can see no way that they can hope for any meaningful ROI within ten years. Don't forget they'd need to be bringing in $35 Million annually just to cover the outlay for the domain - not to mention development, advertising, PR, programming and associated costs.

More importantly, they will need a unique selling point to draw the visitors in ...

9:51 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I was never impressed with what the previous owners did with their $7m buy. It was dull as dishwater. It's always sad when the owner of a special dn does nothing special with it.

Does anyone know how much the seller had invested in the business of business.com? How did they move this asset from $7m to $350m?

p/g

11:32 am on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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Google: Brand equity value ~ $14 billion

Business.com: Brand equity value ~ To be established

Let's just say that whomever put up the initial $7.5 million in cash and other value/interest managed to parlay that into a cash stream that likely paid the carrying costs and then they flipped a $7.5 million deal for $345 million.

That would be about 50xs their initial outlay/investment. (I don't have the details about further cash investments but let's assume they only managed to turn $7.5 million into $250 million to be conservative. Not a bad pay day.)

B2B's day "on the Web" is, according to a number of analysts, just emerging. Therefore it's not a bad time to take on Business.com.

I recall some blogger put the value of 1% of annual search volume at about $1 billion. I can imagine Business.com, if very well orchestrated and executed, could take on that proportion and more.

I imagine, in time, they could build the type of brand equity that would make the investment look sanguine. Give it a few years.

2:56 pm on July 31, 2007 (gmt 0)

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I'm guessing a national yellow book company with business.com could make a pretty impressive business based web search. If their search results are good when searching for businesses without having to wade through any personal or mfa sites, they would stand a good chance to stake out a good chunk of the business search and ad revenue market. But Google could probably counter that pretty easily.