Confirmed: Facebook Acquires FB.com Domain Name

Facebook acquires FB.com domain name.

Ending months of speculation, it’s now confirmed that Facebook has acquired the FB.com domain name.

The whois record for the domain name just updated to show Facebook’s name and nameservers for the domain name.

George Kirikos first noted back in September that the domain name had sold and speculated Facebook was the buyer. After doing a little digging he also found that Facebook was in a trademark dispute with American Farm Bureau over the term FB. American Farm Bureau was the seller of the domain name.

I contacted the American Farm Bureau back then and they said they sold the domain name (but wouldn’t confirm it was to Facebook) and were still in an unresolved dispute with Facebook. As of this evening the dispute still shows as unresolved at U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

I have some speculation that American Farm Bureau did not know they were selling the domain name to Facebook when it sold it. It sold it to an intermediary that works on behalf of a number of corporate customers including Facebook.

Comments

  1. Steve M says

    Andrew–if the Farm Bureau is a state or federal non-profit, I believe they’ll have to disclose this sale (as income) in their (yearly?) “accounting” statement.

    So maybe the price can be discovered at some point;perhaps soon since it’s November.

  2. Meyer says

    “George is usually right,”

    I totally agree.

    “do you think F***Book snookered them?”

    I’m sure they snookered those farm boys.

    I’m also sure someone at the farm bureau said
    “those city slickers conned us!”

  3. says

    If the proposed “ETRP” policy existed, American Farm Bureau could easily have clawed back the domain name to NSI (since the transfer took place less than 6 months ago). “Seller’s remorse” would have given them back immediate control and possession of the domain name, to disrupt FaceBook’s new use of the domain.

    This is why all legitimate buyers should be against the ill-conceived ETRP.

  4. Adam says

    Doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to sell a domain blindly to a 3rd party with an ongoing legal battle. I got $20 on them knowing.

  5. ben says

    People at Farm Bureau need to get fired over this. This domain should have been sold for no less than 2 million dollars.

    This has all the appearance of an inside con job / corporate corruption.

  6. says

    Yeah, a few m at least. What I don’t get is how they could sell it without knowing who is the buyer. Can’t wait to hear about this one :)

    • says

      It’s possible they knew who they were selling to. It just seems odd that you’d sell FB.com to Facebook when you’re still in a trademark fight with them over the mark “FB”. You’d think it would come in conjunction with a settlement.

  7. says

    @ Andrew – It must have been an offer they couldn’t refuse considering that. Certainly does seem weird given the circumstances between the two entities.

  8. says

    Sorry this is a bit off-topic cocnerning FB.com, but thought people reading this article might be interested…

    We were contacted via email a few weeks ago by MarkMonitor on behalf of Facebook accusing us of violating Facebook’s trademark and threatening legal and other action unless we stopped using the domain immediately and let it expire. The email was a form letter received by other web sites, and the headers contained “markmonitor.com” so we were nearly positive it was authentic. The big problem is that the domain in question, http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com, in absolutely no way violates Facebook’s trademark in any way whatsoever! The site is a place for people to leave ratings of the customer service experience they have had with nearly 700 different companies, of which Facebook is one. The only mention of Facebook on our site is in relation to their listing found at http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/Facebook. As you can tell by looking at that link, Facebook fairs very badly as they do not offer customer service of any kind.

    Due to the threatening nature of the email, we contacted our registrar, NameSilo, who helpfully put us in touch with a lawyer specializing in trademark law. We wanted to ensure that we were not violating any laws and we were assured by our attorney that we were absolutely not in violation. Our lawyer responded to Facebook/MarkMonitor (you can see the entire correspondence at http://www.customerservicescoreboard.com/images/CustomerServiceScoreboard_Facebook_Response.pdf) advising them that our use of their name is entirely legal.

    This is a clearcut case of Facebook’s hyper-vigilance protecting their trademark causing strife for innocent people such as ourselves. MarkMonitor, acting on Facebook’s behalf, has the power to threaten innocent people and force us, as responsible business owners, to spend money and time defending its position. This is outrageous and should not be permitted to continue. Our guess is that Facebook/MarkMonitor not only troll for trademark infringement (something we strongly believe is the right and responsibility of any trademark holder), but possibly also for content that is simply representing them in a negative light. We can’t think of any other reason we were threatened. Last we checked, people have every right to voice their opinions, but maybe Facebook doesn’t believe this should be the case – a stance pretty contrary to the purpose of their own business. Facebook had contacted us in the past in relation to a different web site we operate called ContactHelp.com. That site gives away customer service phone numbers, hours of operation and instructions for reaching a live operator for the same 700 companies. The ContactHelp site receives a good deal of traffic, and thousands of unique visitors a day to Facebook’s page. Facebook had contacted us asking us to remove all of their contact information to which we replied that we would not. It seems threatening completely unfounded legal action as being their next attempt to silence web sites from shining a light on people’s disapproval and dislike for how Facebook operates.

    We are hoping that anybody else finding themselves the targets of this McCarthy-style witch hunt by Facebook/MarkMonitor can feel free to make use of the response our attorney filed (linked to above). Not sure if other cases are exactly the same, and we’re certainly not lawyers, but many domain and web site owners may not have the resources to enlist legal representation so hopefully our experience and response can help.

  9. Steve M says

    Thanks Cochise. That link, however, doesn’t seem to lead to the actual letters you’ve referenced.

    Do you have the correct one?

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