Sedo Sued for $10 Million for Failing to Enforce Transaction with NBC Universal

Domain broker added to suit over failed transaction.

DONE! Ventures has added domain name broker Sedo to its lawsuit over a failed transaction for

DONE! sued NBC Universal last year after it alleged the media giant failed to follow through with a transaction to sell and for $1 million. According to the suit, NBC Universal’s CEO at the time Jeff Zucker vetoed the deal after it had been agreed to. Sedo broker Jeff Gabriel managed the deal.

Now, apparently frustrated at lack of support from Sedo to enforce the deal, DONE! founder Ben Padnos has added Sedo to the suit (pdf).

“Sedo told us we had a deal,” Padnos said. “There’s no confusion around ‘Congratulations, the offer has been accepted’, as they told me on May 24, 2010.”

However, NBC has argued in court that they never authorized Sedo to bind the transaction. While that may be debatable, it appears Padnos found it necessary to add Sedo to the suit to add some firepower.

Padnos claims in the amended suit that he’s been damaged in excess of $10 million. In addition to asking for at least that much in damages, he still wants the transaction enforced — which was all he asked for in his original suit against NBC.


  1. says

    It’s just a number, no judge is going to award Padnos 10MM. Now, if there is evidence the deal was “DONE!” then heads are gunna roll at NBC.

  2. Jon says

    NBC should sue Done for $100 million for threats, extortion, and attempted theft. Facts of the case here are that incompetent NBC employee listed – an asset worth at least $10M to NBC – for sale with Sedo for $1M; the employee obviously had no authority to sell $10M asset for $1M. When NBC president got a hold of “transaction in process”, he rightfully voided it.

    Real estate equivalent would a smooth-talking realtor talking a senile grandma on her deathbed into signing a contract selling her $10M house to the realtor for $1M. This transaction would be voided by court, lawsuit would be filed against the realtor by women’s heirs, and criminal charges would be brought up against the realtor for fraud and attempted theft.

    The same needs to happen here.

    • says

      @ Jon – sure, if it was a “transaction in process” that hadn’t been agreed to. But that’s not what Done alleges happened. A contract was entered into by someone at the company that has the authority to bind the company to contracts at this level.

  3. Nic says

    Sounds like an unethical screw up on the part of the vendor. But breach of contract???

    Contract = offer + acceptance + valuable consideration.

    Where is the “valuable consideration”, I wonder?

    I don’t see any mention of the name having been paid for.

    I am sure the lawyers have an argument but it all seems rather weak to me.

    A purchase (or sale) that fell over. Happens all the time, to us all.

  4. Nic says


    Not sure about that.

    What you are referring to is tied up in “offer” and “acceptance”. You need to be able to point to the “valuable consideration”, otherwise there is none. It is like a “heads of agreement”, is only agreement to agree, not a contract.

    If the buyer had paid the vendor, that would be consideration. If the buyer had paid their webdeveloper $100K to start developing site, while relying on “offer and acceptance”, that would be consideration. If the buyer had relied on the agreement and quit his job to start working on the site, that could be said to be valuable consideration.

    But just saying we have agreed, that is only “offer and acceptance” and it seems to me (on my cursory glance at it, and reading your very informative, entertaining, and very much appreciate coverage) that one of three legal ingredients of a contract is missing, ie valuable consideration.

    I am sure the lawyers have an argument, but I do wonder what it is.

  5. fp says


    Consider this – we agree in writing to buy your house for $100k. I have the money in my hand ready to give to you, and you change your mind and don’t take the money.

    Now, you’re telling me the contract is void because there is no consideration? The contract clearly spelled out the consideration. Just because you didn’t take the money that was offered doesn’t mean it was not offered in the first place.

    This is not even a legal question, this is just common sense.

  6. Nic says


    “Now, you’re telling me the contract is void because there is no consideration?”

    I am saying that there is likely to be NO contract to be voided. A contact requires consideration.

    There is an upside to this. That is that a “written document” and/or a “signature” are not legal ingredients of a contract.

  7. shakuni says


    I purchased a domain name on sedo but the buyer is not transferring it to me.

    Sedo says that I can take legal action on him. Please advice what should I do.

    The domain cost is $500 and I don’t have much money for legal issues.

    The seller is in Korea.

    Please advice.


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