Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy have changed.

By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Sex.com auction takes a cold shower

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Buyers lusting after one of the most lucrative domain names in the world, sex.com, will have to wait for their chance to bid on the coveted Internet property.

The rights to sex.com were scheduled to be auctioned off Thursday, with bidders required to put up $1 million just to get in the door, after the previous owner, Escom, went into foreclosure for unpaid debts.

But the auction was postponed after Escom was forced into bankruptcy court late Wednesday by a group of creditors, according to Scott Matthews, a lawyer for DOM Partners, one of Escom's main creditors.

"The auction has been postponed based upon an involuntary bankruptcy filing in California that was filed after 5 p.m. yesterday," Matthews said, adding that a sale will eventually happen, though he could not say when.

Matthews said there had been "significant interest" in the domain name, but he declined to say how many bidders were scheduled to take part in the auction.

Escom reportedly paid $14 million for sex.com when it bought the site in 2006. DOM Partners helped finance the deal and acquired the rights when Escom failed to make payments earlier this year.

DOM announced plans last week to sell the site to the highest bidder in the equivalent of a foreclosure sale. But the auction was scratched after three of Escom's creditors filed an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition against Escom in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in California's Central District.

The creditors -- Washington Technology Associates, iEntertainment Inc. and AccountingMatters.com -- claim Escom owes them more than $10 million.

The dispute marks the latest twist in the storied history of sex.com, which is potentially one of the most profitable internet properties.

Gary Kremen, founder of Match.com, first registered sex.com in 1994. He spent several years in court battling with Stephen Cohen, an adult entertainment mogul with a checkered past, over the site's ownership.

In 1995, Kremen accused Cohen of stealing sex.com from him in a scheme that involved forged letters and falsified e-mails. In 2000, a court handed control of the domain name back to Kremen and ordered Cohen to pay $65 million to Kremen. Cohen subsequently appealed and the case was rejected by the Supreme Court in 2003.

Two years later, Cohen was arrested in Tijuana for failing to appear in court. He was released in 2007, according to published reports.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 16,119.72 -408.31 -2.47%
Nasdaq 4,657.26 -119.25 -2.50%
S&P 500 1,921.57 -49.83 -2.53%
Treasuries 2.17 -0.03 -1.36%
Data as of 3:12pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Bank of America Corp... 15.68 -0.65 -4.01%
Apple Inc 109.24 -3.52 -3.12%
General Electric Co 24.04 -0.78 -3.14%
Ford Motor Co 13.80 -0.06 -0.47%
Freeport-McMoRan Inc... 9.82 -0.82 -7.71%
Data as of 2:57pm ET
Sponsors

Sections

When the Redskins exercised RG3's $16.3 million option for the 2016 season, it made it too risky to have him play again for the team. More

Iran could be pumping more than four million barrels of oil a day by the end of 2016, the country's oil minister tells CNN in an exclusive interview. More

How do you run a successful crowdfunding campaign? Indiegogo's CEO Slava Rubin offers his top tips and mistakes to avoid. More

Joe is 50 years old and makes $70,000 a year. He should already have $364,000 saved for retirement. Are you on track? More