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Microsoft Buys Office.com Using a Different Tact

Microsoft uses Marksmen to acquire Office.com.

Microsoft has acquired the domain name Office.com, but the software company appears to have taken a slightly different tact in acquiring it than it has in the past.

As I wrote after Microsoft acquired CashPerks.com and CashBack.com, the company typically uses a broker to acquire domain names. This is smart; if the seller knows Microsoft wants the domain then the price goes up.

But in previous acquisitions the acquirer didn’t identify themselves as a professional broker, or at least used a non-commercial email address such as a Gmail to transfer the domain name. This time whois records show the firm used Marksmen, an intellectual property acquisition firm. (If it used them in the past, that wasn’t evident in whois.)

Marksmen’s web site states:

Intellectual Property Acquisitions
How does an 800-pound gorilla buy a domain name? Dials Marksmen, of course. With more than 7000 successful domain name buys and other intellectual property acquisitions, including some of the best known brands on the planet, we are the go-to firm for worldwide IP owners who want to keep their identity and costs on the down low.

It may have been obvious to the owner that Microsoft was trying to buy the domain name, so using a go-between may have been for purposes other than trying to keep the purchase anonymous.

I met a representative of Marksmen at a domain conference in Seattle several years ago, but they are generally quiet in the industry. The company has offices in Los Angeles and North Carolina.

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Reader Interactions


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  1. Troy says

    Seems like their business model has a serious flaw. If big companies don’t want the people they are buying their domains from to know that they are a big company then why would they use a company that is known for assisting big companies?

    Seems like circular logic that just does not work to me.

  2. jp says

    Sounds like a good company for every domainer to ally with. Gotta say though, their brand name isn’t too far fram Marksman.com (the bb-gun etc… company). I might have picked a different name although Marksmen is pretty great. I wonder how many people miss the mark and hit marksman.com instead of their site.

  3. David Thornton says

    “…I met a representative of Marksmen at a domain conference in Seattle several years ago, but they are generally quite in the industry…”

    I assume the writer meant to write “quiet” and not “quite”. A very common error I see all the time, therefore I had to comment! 🙂

  4. Robert Haastrup-Timmi says

    I’ve been contacted by these guy’s once before on one of my domains. I dug deeper and found it was Marksmen, then I put 2 & 2 together. For some reason I never heard from them again.

  5. SL says

    Just curious, how deep did you have to dig to determine the source?

    Were online resources enough to figure it out or did it require phone calls, personal contacts in-the-know, etc.?

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