London, Feb 20 (ANI): Sex.com, the Internet's costliest address, is up for grabs after the adult site's owner Escom failed to pay its debts.
Sex.com had changed hands only four years ago in a 14million dollar deal.
The domain name of the site, which has been labelled the "jewel in the internet's crown", will be auctioned on March 18.
Details posted on the website of auctioneer David R Maltz and Co have generated numerous enquiries. The auction will take place at law firm Windels Marx Lane and Mittendorf in New York.
Prospective buyers are required to bring a certified cheque for 1million dollars to become eligible to participate in the event. But, an insider close to the sale said the website was "unlikely to bring in what it did in 2006, although it really depends on how much someone wants it", reports the Independent.
According to the notice of foreclosure sale, posted by Dom's lawyers, the forced sale came after Escom defaulted on its debts to Dom Partners.
The website was so popular that it became the subject of two books: "Sex.com: One Domain, Two Men, Twelve Years and the Brutal Battle for the Jewel in the Internet's Crown" by journalist Kieren McCarthy in 2007, and "The Sex.com Chronicles: A White-Hat Lawyer's Journey to the Dark Side of the Internet" by Charles Carreon the following year.
In its first five years, Sex.com received five million hits a day and generated 100million dollars a year. According to McCarthy it was the "most valuable piece of virtual real-estate on the planet".
Gary Kremen, a Stanford University scholar and the founder of dating site Match.com, registered the domain name in 1994. In 1996, the ownership was transferred to Stephen Cohen through a scam.
The legal battle that followed saw a Californian judge award 65million dollars in damages to Kremen. He was also given back the rights to Sex.com, but the lawsuits continued and Cohen finally fled the country. He was later caught and jailed.
In 2006 Kremen put the site for sale and Escom reportedly paid 14million for its rights. The new owners of Sex.com had plans to revolutionise the online adult industry and signed numerous content deals including a distribution agreement with Playboy. (ANI)