Featured in the  Wall Street Journal - Forbes -  Bloomberg - Investors Business Daily -  ABC News - BBC News -  CNN/Money - MSNBC - USA Today - New York Times 










The Lowdown
April 2023 Archive
Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Welcome to the The Lowdown from 
DN Journal
- your source for notable news 
and information from all corners of the global 
domain name industry! 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal 
Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

Helmuts Meskonis Follows Acorn Domains Purchase with Acquisition of DNForum.com 

Just a few days after acquiring the UK's oldest and largest domain investor's forum - AcornDomains.co.uk, the founder of Host Maria and the London Domain Name Summit conference, Helmuts Meskonis, has acquired the oldest domain forum in the U.S., DNForum.com. The purchase was first announced last night in a new episode of the YouTube series Domain Name Talk, followed by a press release published at DNForum.com this morning. 

Meskonis said, "The main mission of this acquisition is to guarantee the success of the annual B2B convention, London Domain Summit,  for the global and European domain name industry. This year's London Domain Summit will take place August 22-23 at Hilton London Metropole."

Since being established by Dan Gessler in 2001, DNForum has gone through a series of ownership changes, including one just a few months ago when  British domain name investor Ryan De Corsie Ewen bought it from financially distressed registrar Epik.com

As to why he decided to take on the task of stabilizing DNForum after its long history of ups and downs, Meskonis said, "I simply couldn't pass up this offer. I cannot disclose the price, apart from that it was in GBP and 5 digits. I am grateful to Ryan that he came to me first with this amazing opportunity, and also gave me a great price for it. I want to emphasize that as the new owner, I have no intention of selling DNForum as this acquisition serves a higher purpose. We will be working on strategic partnerships and the first partnership has already been signed with the London-based Intis Telecom." 

Intis Telecom is a global communications company that entered the domain industry after purchasing IT.com for $3.8 million in the closing quarter of 2021. The company used the domain to open the new IT.com registry that sells third level domains under .it.com through a global network of registrar partners. 

Helmuts Meskonis

(Posted April 27, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


New Reports from Escrow.com and GGRG.com Detail Domain Sales Boom in 1Q-2023

Two new reports just issued by Escrow.com and GGRG.com show a big jump in total dollar volume for aftermarket domain sales in the first quarter of 2023. Escrow.com (as part of a market announcement from parent company Freelancer) reported that total $ volume on their platform soared 47% higher than the previous quarter with domain names being a driving force in the boom (Escrow.com also handles transactions for other high value assets like motor vehicles, watches and jewelry).

Escrow attributed the volume growth to an anticipated boom in venture capital flowing into startups capitalizing on generative AI. For example, the company facilitated the purchase of Chat.com and Prompt.com, as well as other high value domains such as NewYork.com. Escrow cited the recent sale of the MakeLogo.ai business through Acquire.com and Escrow.com for $65,000 as another example from the AI-triggered boom.

GGRG's Q1-2023 Liquid Market Report mirrored Escrow.com's experience, which is to be expected as Escrow is one of GGRG's primary data suppliers. GGRG covers a subset of the overall aftermarket - short acronym and numeric domains that, due to steady demand, tend to have more liquidity than most other domain categories. These are .com domains comprised of 2-4 letters, 2-5 numbers or a combination of 2-3 characters mixing letters and numbers. GGRG stated that Q1 2023 was an absolute record quarter, topping all others covered in the 26 previous editions of their report. 

The new edition noted "With over $43 million in Escrow.com reported sales, it eclipsed the now second best quarter (Q4 2021) which came during a peak stock and crypto market. The reason for the record quarter was an unusually high, 8-digit number in two-letter .com sales ($15.7 million) and 4-letter .com sales ($23.8 million), probably as the result of monster sales." 

(Posted April 18, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


London Domain Name Summit Founder Acquires UK's Biggest Domain Forum - Acorn Domains

I guess it is now fair to say that Helmuts Meskonis has gone nuts - about domains that is! The founder of the London Domain Name Summit conference that debuted last summer has just acquired the UK's oldest and largest domain investor's forum - AcornDomains.co.uk. With this purchase (at an undisclosed price) Meskonis gains a popular platform for promoting the next edition of his Summit for the European and global domain name industry that is coming up August 22-23 at the Hilton London Metropole.

Acorn Domains has over 15,400 registered members and has accumulated more than 625,000 posts. Helmuts noted, "The Acorn acquisition aligns well with the London Summit's mission to connect the domain name industry and create more business opportunities for everyone in the industry." 

Meskonis, a domain investor and serial entrepreneur who also operates the global hosting brand HostMaria, added, "We will be bringing in several more moderators from the established Acorn Domains community to help ensure that the forum continues to be a friendly and safe place for everyone. Our goal is to provide an environment that fosters productive discussions and connections, while also promoting the financial success of all of our members. Also, a huge thanks to Steve Napier for carrying the torch for so many years, and letting me be a part of what I think is one of the most important resources in the UK domain industry, it is truly an honor."

Meskonis said he is also working on several other strategic partnership deals related to both AcornDomains.co.uk and the London Summit. The first strategic partnership has already been signed with London-based Intis Telecom, administrator of the .it.com registry, who will be the Presenting Sponsor of the 2023 London Domain Name Summit. Meskonis has also announced that popular domain industry veteran Tess Diaz (the former Executive Producer and Host of DomainSherpa.com) will serve as the Conference Moderator and Facilitator.

Helmuts Meskonis

(Posted April 17, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Sedo/InterNetX Experts Will Break Down 2023 Global Domain Report Data in Free Webinar Wednesday  

Last month we told you about Sedo and InterNetX releasing their comprehensive 2023 Global Domain Report, a 74-page study that provides an unparalleled look at how the domain industry is faring in every key market around the world. The only thing that could be better than that free document would be having experts from Sedo and InterNetX personally sit down in a live setting to answer questions and provide a better understanding of the voluminous data in the new report. Well, that is exactly what is going to happen on Wednesday, April 19 at 4PM CET (Central European Time) which is 10AM U.S. Eastern Standard Time.

That is when eco - the Association of the Internet Industry will be presenting a free webinar featuring Simone Catania, the Global Content & Communications Manager at InterNetX, and Christian Voss, the Chief Marketing Officer at Sedo. Simone, who is responsible for the content across InternetX's blog and other channels, is also one of the authors of this year's report. Christian is responsible for identifying, defining, creating and promoting Sedo’s product portfolio and expanding the company’s market presence. 

During the webinar they will provide a detailed overview of the key points presented in the 2023 Global Domain Report including:

Simone Catania (left) and Christian Voss
will be speaking at the Wednesday webinar.

  • Key facts & figures related to legacy gTLDs, ccTLDs and new gTLDs

  • Market trends and their effect on the primary and aftermarket

  • World tour to explore regional domain trends

  • DACH region and other key countries

  • Time for interactive questions and discussions

You can register here to make sure you don't miss this informative journey through the world of domains. 

(Posted April 15, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


NewYork.com Changes Hands in 7-Figure Transaction Facilitated by Fred Mercaldo

One of the world's ultimate geo domains,  NewYork.com, has been sold in a seven-figure transaction (due to an NDA, the exact price was not disclosed). The news came from industry veteran Fred Mercaldo, who worked with both the buyer, Denver-based Peter Niederman, and the seller, the world famous Cirque du Solieil (based in Montreal) to make the landmark sale happen.

As we have previously reported, Fred assembled an extraordinary portfolio of exact-match large market U.S. city .com domain names and marketed them to major newspaper publishers and media companies that are transitioning from print to digital delivery. The primary problem has been that many waited too long to make the move and are no longer in a strong enough financial position to act on the opportunity.

Mercaldo noted, "The collapse in print ad revenue resulted in poor corporate valuations for many national newspapers, causing their stock prices and cash positions to crater. As a result, we turned our attention to selling each market individually and I think this sale of NewYork.com will draw the kind of international attention assets of this quality in the geo domain space deserves. Over the past 14 months, the Scottsdale.com, LosAngeles.com and SanDiego.com brands from the portfolio have also been sold."  

Like NewYork.com, LosAngeles.com went to Niederman, a very successful commercial real estate investor who already owned geo domain gems Denver.com, SanFrancisco.com, Seattle.com and Boulder.com. Peter said, “We are considering developing NewYork.com, as the opportunity is massive for this exceptional brand.  However, Fred and I are also talking about the possibility of packaging the name with SanFrancisco.com for the right Buyer.  Fred and I met years ago during the Associated Cities days and he did a great job on this transaction for both parties. Fred also represented me in acquiring both LosAngeles.com and SanFrancisco.com."

Fred Mercaldo

Peter Niederman

Niederman added, "My main business is real estate but since selling Kentwood Real Estate in Denver a few years ago, I’ve been mainly focusing on some large commercial projects. There is a direct correlation in the real estate business and the pure City domain name business.  I believe these digital assets will continue to appreciate in value in the coming years.”

As our regular readers know, Fred has been a long time domain developer, having run Scottsdale.com very profitably for over a decade.  He now focuses on his brokerage services, dealing primarily with major City names. “We have some amazing inventory available including Manhattan.com, Malibu.com, TheHamptons.com, Glasgow.com, Oakland.com, TheMiddleEast.com, TheUnitedStates.com and many others," Fred told us, adding "It is hard work but I love what I do. It is very rewarding to be involved in a transaction that results in both parties with the elusive win-win scenario.  Both parties in the NewYork.com transaction are very pleased." 










Those who have been following the ongoing story of this one-of-a-kind portfolio will recall that the original group of major city domains that Mercaldo, representing multiple domain owners, put together included NewYork.com, LosAngeles.com, SanFrancisco.com, Houston.com, Denver.com, SanDiego.com,  Detroit.com, Philadelphia.com, Scottsdale.com, StLouis.com, Minneapolis.com, Indianapolis.com, DistrictOfColumbia.com, Seattle.com and Raleigh.com. He also represents three dozen additional city .com domains matching medium sized cities.

Looking back at that eye-popping portfolio, Fred said "I felt for sure that a savvy investor/company would jump on the opportunity to acquire a major digital footprint that overnight would establish them as a dominant digital media network, delivering news, events, real estate, jobs, restaurant guides, local business promotion and much more in these markets that reach over 100 million Americans. It didn’t happen so we went to Plan B."

Image from Bigstock

Now, in marketing the individual domains, Fred said "I’ve stated many times on LinkedIn posts that I am looking for the smartest person in the room to acquire these assets - well, as the NewYork.com acquisition proved yet again, the smartest person in the room is Peter Niederman!"  

(Posted April 10, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


NamesCon Global 2023 Agenda Firming Up for Big Show Opening in Austin Next Month

With barely 7 weeks to go before domain industry pros from around the world reconvene for the annual NamesCon Global conference, a powerful agenda for the big event in Austin is quickly filling up. As we told you last month, Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales will be headlining a roster of all-star industry speakers for NamesCon's run at the downtown Omni Hotel that starts May 31 and runs through June 3 (most veteran show goers come in a day early for what is always a busy evening of pre-show corporate parties at various locales around the Lone Star State's capital city).

The latest agenda additions includes a can't miss session on the power of branding featuring Louis Pickthall, the Co-Founder and Vice President at BrandForce.com. High-end buyers have particular expectations that you have to understand and be able to meet. When domain brokers and investors recognize the power of a given brand and properly convey that to the buyer, asset sales can be made at their full true value. Louis used that concept to surpass $60 million in sales last year, making him one of the world's top brokers in 2022.  

In his session, titled How to Give Domain Buyers What They Really Want, Pickthall will share how he did it, what it’s like to sell from one of the most exclusive and valuable portfolios in the world and how his experience can help you reach your own sales goals.

In another newly added session, power from a different perspective will be explored when veteran broker Amanda Waltz sits down with industry pioneer Mike Mann to discuss the power of letting go.

Louis Pickthall
Co-Founder & VP, BrandForce.com

Amanda Waltz (Waltz Digital) will interview pensive domain investor Mike Mann
 (Founder & CEO of DomainMarket.com) at NamesCon Global 2023 in Austin.

Over the past 25 years Mike Mann has made tens of millions of dollars - with the goal of giving it away. In addition to being a globally-recognized domain investing expert and entrepreneur, Mike is the author of the book Make Millions and Make Change. Mike co-founded and sold BuyDomains.com, founded Phone.com, SEO.com and many others including the nonprofit MakeChange.com. Amanda Waltz, who is one of the most highly regarded domain brokers in the industry, will talk with Mike about balancing high-end and mid-priced domains in a portfolio, and how to know what to throw away and what to keep.

Check out the NamesCon Global website for many more details on the upcoming show that, for the first time, will run concurrently at the Omni Hotel with the Cloudfest USA conference with one ticket getting you into all sessions at both events. Another thing to keep in mind - tickets are currently $449 (+ ticketing fee) but only through the rest of April. If not purchased in advance it will cost $1,049 at the door to attend.

(Posted April 7, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


Problems Mount for Epik - Customer Suing for Return of $307,000 Paid for Undelivered Domain

In recent months a lot of customer complaints about domain registrar and marketplace Epik.com have been posted on forums and social media outlets. However, prior to this week, to our knowledge, no formal legal actions had been taken against the company. That changed Monday (April 3) when an Epik customer, Matthew Adkisson, filed a lawsuit for non-delivery of a domain name - Nourish.com - that Adkisson had purchased through Epik. 

In the Washington State court filing (.pdf file) naming Epik, Founder Rob Monster and CEO Bryan Royce, Adkisson reported he paid $327,000 for the domain but had gotten back

Image from Bigstock

only $20,000 of the refund due him. The suit goes on to allege widespread fraud at Epik, citing a variety of other issues that have generated widespread customer complaints (many of those have been included in the filing itself). 

Adkisson also stated that Epik did not dispute they owed the money and in the filing he noted, "Monster further represented that “in the event that the Company does not, or will
not settle the balance due of $307,000, I am committed to covering this personally, and doing so asap.” Whether or not that happens remains to be seen. Adkisson, who is being represented by Seattle firm Perkins Coie LLP, is also asking for reimbursement for interest and costs incurred in his efforts to recoup his funds. 

(Posted April 4, 2023) To refer others to the post above only (and not the full Lowdown column) you can use this URL:


If you've been out of the loop lately, catch up in the Lowdown Archive!

We need your help to keep giving domainers The Lowdown, so please email [email protected] with any interesting information you might have. If possible, include the source of your information so we can check it out (for example a URL if you read it in a forum or on a site elsewhere). 

Follow us on 

Like us on 

Subscribe to our 
RSS Feed

 SITE LINKS: Home Page | Domain Sales Report | YTD Sales Charts | The Lowdown
 News Headlines | Get Email Alerts | Site Archives | Classified Ads | About Us | Email Us

No photos, text or content of any kind may be copied from this site without expressed written consent ©Copyright 2023 DNJournal.com - An Internet Edge, Inc. company.