Site launches after company goes on domain name buying spree.
Travel booking company Booking.com has launched Villas.com to offer vacation rental properties.
This answers the question I’ve been asking for almost a year: who has been registering dozens of country code domain names for villa and villas?
I first noticed the “villa” registrations in July 2013 when a (then) mystery company got villa.me, villa.am, villa.sh and villas.biz.
Since that time I’ve noticed dozens more villa/villas domain names purchased and registered at Mark Monitor.
Last month there was a clue something was imminent: Villa.com changed registrars.
Several people emailed me to say they were approached about villa domain names in the interim, and a few weeks ago someone suggested that Booking.com was the buyer.
They were right.
Booking.com undertook a substantial defensive registration campaign, including buying Villa.com. It goes to shows that using a descriptive domain name can come with more expenses than just the cost of the .com.