.Mobi registry voids latest Sedo auction, will re-run in January.
First, there was the euphoria from .mobi fans. The December .mobi auction at Sedo closed with major records: Music.mobi sold for $616,000 and Games.mobi sold for $401,500.
But then the griping began. Constantine Giorgio Roussos said he was the rightful winner of Music.mobi at $66,000. Sedo’s servers had slowed to a halt in the last few minutes of the auction, which kept many bidders at bay. Sedo extended the auction for 2 1/2 hours and the domain was bid up to $616,000. Worse, the self-proclaimed new winning bidder for these premium .mobi domains publicly stated that he bought them as an investment, not to develop. Technically, that can be construed as against the auction terms.
After an investigation as to why Sedo’s servers slowed to a halt, the .mobi registry has decided to void the entire results of the auction and rerun it in January. They are contractually allowed to do this.
Sedo’s investigation sheds new light on what happened:
-The server meltdown not only prevented bidders from placing new bids, but it kept valid proxy bids from being triggered
-The auction was “compromised”, according to Sedo. This likely means that someone performed a denial of service attack during the final few minutes of the auction. (This is my speculation based on Sedo’s official statement.)
The new auction will run on January 23, 2008, according to Sedo.
Unfortunately, this won’t make anyone — the original “winners” and the new “winners” happy. Sedo is between a rock and hard place.
The biggest winner in this decision might be Alvaro Albarracin, who gets to rethink his decision to shell out over a million bucks on highly speculative domains.