Facebook agrees to buy OnlineNic’s owned and operated domains to settle part of a dispute.
Facebook will soon be the proud owner of hotwifecuckolds .com, magiksex .com, and hundreds of other domain names currently owned by the domain name registrar OnlineNic.
It’s part of a deal to settle a dispute between Facebook and OnlineNic and to pay the Special Master who evaluated discovery issues in a lawsuit between the parties.
Facebook sued OnlineNic in 2019, alleging that either OnlineNIC or its customers used domains such as www-facebook-login(.)com and login-lnstargram(.)com.
OnlineNic recently said that it would stop defending the case and was in the process of shutting down its business.
But counsel for Facebook became concerned when they noticed that OnlineNic was transferring some of the domains it owned (not customer domains) to another registrar. It asked the court the freeze OnlineNic’s assets and prevent it from transferring the domains.
OnlineNic said that it was moving the domains to another registrar to sell them so it could raise cash to pay the Special Master in the lawsuit. It said it had found a buyer willing to pay $70,000 for the approximately 700 domain names (pdf). That would be about enough to pay the Special Master’s invoice.
Facebook’s counsel said that seemed like a low price for the portfolio and thought it was not an arms-length transaction. Now, it’s putting its money where its mouth is.
Facebook and OnlineNic have struck a deal (pdf) in which Facebook will pay $74,812 to the Special Master in return for OnlineNic transferring the domain names to the plaintiffs.
Facebook’s counsel will then, presumably, try to sell the domain names. In addition to the adult-themed domains, the portfolio includes an assortment of mostly poor-quality domain names. There are some good names mixed in, including a handful of four letter .com domains.
Domain investors are mixed on how much the portfolio is worth.
OnlineNic is also agreeing to indemnify Facebook for any third-party claims about the domain names. This term is likely inserted to protect Facebook from owning docmartin.org and any other domains that might infringe trademarks.
The agreement is subject to court approval. [Update: the judge approved it.]