WorldCom.com has been taken offline, erasing the web's last traces of the brand that became a symbol of white collar crime and the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. The domains worldcom.com and worldcom.net have been taken out of the DNS database, meaning requests for those URLs return no response. The domains continue to be owned by MCI, Inc. the WorldCom successor that was bought earlier this year by Verizon for $7.6 billion.
When a company is acquired, its domain names are typically redirected to the web site of the acquiring company to capture potential customers searching for the old URL. Redirection services are freely provided by most registrars. But worldcom.com and worldcom.net have no A record listed in their DNS settings, suggesting the domains have been intentionally taken offline to "retire" the name.
WorldCom had more than $103 billion in assets when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in July 2003 after the company admitted to having inflated as much as $11 billion in "profits" through deceptive accounting. While in bankruptcy the company dumped the WorldCom name, returning to the MCI brand used earlier in its corporate existence. MCI ultimately emerged from bankruptcy with about $5 billion in debt and more than $6 billion in cash. Former WorldCom CEO Bernard Ebbers was convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy charges last year, and sentenced to 25 years in prison.