If someone told me that I could own Google, or at least their web domain, I would have laughed out loud. But that is exactly what happened to Sanmay Ved.
Ved, an ex-Googler was looking for Google domains, when he stumbled upon a familiar domain; Google.com. His surprise doubled when he found out that it was available to buy. A happy green smiley face confirmed his suspicions that the domain was indeed ready to be purchased. So he did what any red-blooded techie would do, he bought Google.com.
According to Ved, the purchase was completed successfully and the card was charged which again reaffirms that the transaction was complete or he would have received an error.
Upon completion of the purchase, Ved received two emails from Google, which according to him is not standard procedure. In addition, his Google Webmaster Tools section was automatically updated with webmaster related messages for the Google.com domain meaning that actual ownership of tehe domain was transferred to him.
He also got messages in Search Console that only those who are the verified admin/verified owner of domains gets, once again confirming that he owns the domain name now.
The burning question you now have is probably along the lines of “So how much did he pay?” Well, Ved was the proud owner of Google.com by paying a mere $12 which roughly come to around LKR 1800/=. His triumph was short lived though. His purchase was then followed by a cancellation email from Google Domains.
This actually isn’t the first time that a purchase of this magnitude has occurred. Back in 2013, Microsoft neglected to renew its Hotmail UK domain registered with Nominet UK. This led to it being returned to the open market for purchase by anyone. Since Microsoft wasn’t the registrar, the company couldn’t cancel or withdraw it once the domain was bought by someone else.
It is still unclear how Google’s domain name became available for purchase in the open market and investigations are yet to yield any results. Nevertheless, Ved will have his place in history (both in ours and in Google’s too) as being the owner of Google.com for at least one minute.