Billion Dollar Company Loses Key Domain Name
Silicon Labs loses domain name, fights to get it back.
Austin, Texas-based Silicon Labs (NASDAQ: SLAB) has lost control of a key domain name, SiliconLabs.com. The company has filed for arbitration with National Arbitration Forum to regain control of the domain.
Silicon Labs’ main domain name is SiLabs.com. But I suspect most people trying to find the company’s web site for the first time type in SiliconLabs.com, and a lot of e-mails are accidentally addressed to email@example.com.
So how does a company with a billion dollar market cap lose control of a critical domain name? A company spokesperson declined comment citing the ongoing arbitration, but a bit of research shows that the domain name expired. Records show the domain was due to expire December 21, 2008. After it expired it was purchased by a Utah man and pointed to a parked page. The domain was registered at Network Solutions and was likely auctioned off at NameJet when it expired.
It’s not unusual for companies without an adequate domain name management policy to have this happen. But Silicon Labs was doing some things right. For example, it created an email address specifically for domain registrations, firstname.lastname@example.org. Presumably this forwarded to the person in charge of the company’s domain names. (I’m currently helping a company in Austin that has several different employee e-mail addresses across its portfolio of domains, which is a recipe for disaster).
Hopefully this big mistake by a billion dollar company will draw attention to the importance of having a good corporate domain name policy.
[Update: Silicon Labs won the domain name at arbitration.]