Sex Sells, and So Does Sex.com

Paul Lilly

Clover Holdings thrust itself into the bidding war for Sex.com and ultimately won the bid-waving contest with a $13 million offer, payable to Escom.

Escom purchased the domain for $14 million back in 2006 and eventually had to file for bankruptcy earlier this year. After doing so, Escom put Sex.com on the auction block this past July.

Sex.com's past reads like a soap opera. The site was first registered in 1994 by Gary Kremen, founder of Match.com, only to lose the domain a year later to Stephen Cohen. Cohen had just been released from prision for impersonating a bankruptcy lawyer, and rather than follow the straight-and-narrow, he wrote a letter to domain registrar Network Solutions asking them to transfer the domain to him. They did, and Cohen collected a cool $40 million from the site over the course of the next few years.

Kremen went on to sue Network Solutions and Cohen, and after initially losing the bout, he ended up with a $65 million judgment against Cohen. Naturally, Cohen moved hid his money overseas, and then hid himself.

An appeals court declared Kremen the rightful owner of Sex.com in 2003, who then sold the site name to Escom.

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