New domain names can't get much cheaper, but the secondary market continues to see big-ticket sales. Local.com was bought for $700,000 Monday by search engine services firm Interchange Corp., which operates the ePilot pay-per-click advertising network.
Pricing was stable in the market for first-time domain registrations, with no major price movements among the largest hosting companies and registrars. Netfirms has the current lowest price for a one-year .com at $4.95. Yahoo once again extended its $4.98 a year "limited time offer" as it launched a new Small Business Resource Center.
In other domain news, The U.S Commerce Department has banned the sale of proxy registrations for the .us top-level domain. Proxy registrations allow domain owners to keep their identity and contact information out of the WHOIS database. The domain is purchased by a registrar on behalf of a client, who pays a fee for having their details remain unpublished.
The decision has been vigorously contested by Go Daddy, which has registered more than 23,000 private .us domains through its Domains By Proxy business unit. Go Daddy and other registrars fear the .us restriction could set a precedent that could later be expanded to other top-level domains.