World's Most Expensive Website

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The bidding started at $300,000 and blasted through the seven-figure mark before settling at $1.8 million. No, this wasn't Sotheby's - nor was the object d'art a Picasso. This battle was for the URL

The action took place last week at the domain name auction, hosted by at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York. The invitation-only participants, who seemed more suited to a Star Trek convention, would ultimately bid on 218 Web domain names that all together would sell for $10.8 million.

Many clocked six-figure price tags, far exceeding the industry average of $2,000 to $3,500, according to Matt Bentley, chief strategy officer for, a domain brokerage firm. Two broke the $1 million mark: fetched $3 million and nabbed $1.8 million.

Five Most Expensive Webaddresses
Growth in online advertising and the shrinking pool of available names are pushing URL price tags to new heights. Three of the top five deals in history happened in the last two years. "You're seeing a perfect storm created by converging factors that are resulting in an increase in domain values," says Bentley. broke the eight-figured barrier in 2005 by nabbing $12 million, according to DN Journal, which tracks the domain name industry. came in next, at $9.5 million last month, followed by ($7.5 million in 1999), ($7.5 million in 2006) and (a reported $7 million in 1999).

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