A cybersquatter who was hoping to make a quick buck at Maxime Chan Zuckerberg’s expense ended up selling to Mark Zuckerberg himself, reports indicate.
Amal Augustine, a college student from Kochi, India, purchased the domain name maxchanzuckerberg.com in December 2015 in hopes of selling it for a profit. The domain was listed on GoDaddy’s auction website, but failed to attract any interested buyers until last month. Augustine was contacted by GoDaddy — who acts as an intermediary — about a potential sale.
Zuckerberg completed the transaction through his asset management company, Iconiq Capital, to conceal his identity. According to the India Times, the transaction completed on Monday, with Augustine settling on a price of $700.
He did not realize until it was too late that the offer was coming from Facebook and Zuckerberg himself. GoDaddy’s auction rules specifically prohibit negotiating, so there wasn’t much that he would have been able to do.
“I just went ahead and closed the deal in seven days,” he told the Times.
Cybersquatting is not expressly illegal; however, courts have often ruled in favor of victims of these incidents. Some companies just choose to pay off the cybersquatter to avoid a costly legal battle where recuperation of those legal fees is unlikely if not completely out of the question, but some have gone ahead and sued not only for the domain name but damages as well.
Either way, Augustine is not new to selling domain names. He has also registered others, although we’re not sure if any others have sold for as much as this one has. He does say that his domain name purchases have earned him a “small profit” though.
Regardless, Augustine says he was thrilled that Facebook contacted him about the domain name. We’re sure that he’ll likely be much more careful though in who he sells to in the future, and for how much.
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