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Elequa Makes 3-Letter .Biz And .Info Domains Disappear

By Ron Jackson

We referred to Thunayan K AL-Ghanim (Elequa) as a "domain artist" in a Feb. 2003 Domain Name Journal Cover Story. Looks like it is time to add "magician" to his resume as he made 4,600 three-letter .biz domains disappear in one day on Wed. Feb. 25. The unprecedented buying spree completely wiped out the supply of those domains, repeating what Elequa had done with three-letter .infos just two days earlier. 

He had made his purchases of 2,500 .infos over several weeks starting just after New Year's Day, finally taking the last of the three-letter supply on Feb. 23. There are 17,576 possible 3-letter combinations in each extension and all of them have been sold out in .com, .net and .org for some time. Joining the old extensions in that exclusive club gives .biz and .info a significant boost in credibility and Elequa a stranglehold on three-letter domains in all five key global extensions.

As we noted in our current Domain Sales report, Elequa owns more than 1,000 three-letter .coms and more than 2,000 each in .net and .org. Now he also has close to 3,000 .info threes and about 4,800 in .biz! 

The well-known internet investor/developer and head of  Future Media Architects told DNJ that many factors influenced his decision to enter the new extension namespace in such a bold way.  We will be discussing those reasons with him and have comments from officials at Neulevel (the .biz registry) and Afilias (the .info registry) about the current state of their extensions in a new Cover Story March 1. 

Meanwhile we will just tell you that all of the current speculation we have seen and heard about his motives and how he plans to recoup his investment are wrong. Those will be made clear in our story next week. In the meantime .com diehards will continue to argue that he wasted his money on the new extensions while .biz and .info advocates hail the move as a masterstroke by an internet visionary. 

Neulevel executive Richard Tindal would undoubtedly fall into the latter camp. He is currently traveling in Europe but we reached him by email to set up an interview when he returns home this weekend. Tindal said Elequa's .biz binge was "great news" for the TLD. 

In addition to a boost in recognition for .biz and .info there will almost certainly be an increase in aftermarket prices for three-letter domains in those extensions. When you take supply out of the supply and demand equation prices inevitably head up. Elequa's big buy was a landmark event that will effect extensions, investors and developers for some time to come. 

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