FB.com domain name sells. Likely buyer: Facebook.
American Farm Bureau has sold the domain name FB.com, as George Kirikos noted this morning on Twitter. The domain names whois record now points to a division of Mark Monitor, which manages domain names for Facebook.
So did Facebook buy the domain name? I’ve contacted both American Farm Bureau and Facebook for details.
A PR representative for American Farm Bureau told me he’s not sure how much the organization can say about the sale, and he’s looking into it. The organization’s primary URL is FB.org. Facebook has not yet responded to my request.
But of all of Mark Monitor’s clients, I can’t think of any that would be good candidates to purchase this domain name. It makes perfect since for Facebook, which could use the domain name as a URL shortener. Facebook already owns FB.me for URL shortening and it has been aggressively pursuing intellectual property related to its brand.
[UPDATE: Kirikos noticed that Facebook has applied for a FB trademark. American Farm Bureau filed an opposition to the trademark application. It’s likely that this prompted some sort of settlement which involved Facebook buying FB.com.]
[UPDATE 2: I heard from American Farm Bureau today. They said the trademark dispute with Facebook is still an ongoing issue, as the trademark dispute at USPTO still shows as open. They did confirm they sold the domain name but would not confirm that it was to Facebook.]
I’ll let you know if I get any updates.