If there was ever a domain soap opera, this might just be the first episode. What makes it particularly interesting is that the subject of what has now turned into a serious lawsuit is a .CO.ID domain name. I’ll be honest, I’ve never heard of .CO.ID but there are plenty of ccTLDs out there that many of us haven’t heard of so nothing too crazy there.
Apparently two guys met in July of 2017 and inked a deal for the acquisition of Grab.co.id for $250,000, yes – that’s a quarter of a million dollars. The buyer had a pretty strong need for the domain given that their company is called Grab and operates in Indonesia.
So what exactly happened? Well like I said, it really is a domain soap opera and reading through the details of how the lawsuit started is a bit like trying to follow the move “Usual Suspects” for the first time. Here’s a quick rundown of what happened:
In July 2017, GrabTaxi Holdings’ head of partnerships Shawn Heng expressed interest in buying the domain name grab.co.id during a phone call with Mr Mark Ho, a director and sole shareholder of 3 Corporate Services.
Mr Ho allegedly told Mr Heng that the firm did not register grab.co.id, but it could help transfer the domain name to GrabTaxi Holdings.
Mr Ho is also a director of Top 3 Media, which registered the grab.co.id domain name through a representative.
Later, the two men discussed the proposed sale of the domain name to GrabTaxi Holdings over WhatsApp through a series of text messages.
3 Corporate Services, represented by Selvam LLC, is alleging that both firms entered into a written agreement on July 22, 2017, and that 3 Corporate Services was to procure the transfer of the domain name from Top 3 Media to GrabTaxi for US$250,000.
However, in September that year, GrabTaxi Holdings purportedly informed 3 Corporate Services that it would not honour the agreement. (Source – TodayOnline.com)
I would recommend reading the full article if you really want to dive into the details because this certainly doesn’t seem like a straight-forward predicament to me. At the end of the day, what this does highlight IMO is how powerful ccTLDs still are and that one-word domains, even in a domain extension you’ve never heard of can be worth six-figures.
For anyone that took the time to read through the article, who do you think is going to win the battle for Grab.co.id?