Google CEO Sundar Pichai
On Wednesday night, an Argentinian purchased ownership of the country’s Google domain for a mere 540 Argentine Peso which, according to today’s exchange rate, equates $5.81 USD.
The domain apparently became available after its previous ownership expired the same day. This caused a temporary closedown of the search engine google.com.ar.
Yesterday at 10:45 p.m., Nicolas Kuroña, the alleged culprit, tweeted, “I want to clarify that I entered http://nic.ar I saw the name of http://google.com.ar available and I legally bought it accordingly!”
As reported by MercoPress, Kuroña’s buying did not affect the international ‘www.google.com.’
Such activity is termed “Cybersquatting,” as reported by MercoPress, which refers to the act of holding, registering, buying or selling a domain in order to profit off of the rightful owner’s name recognition. The expiration dates of domains are publicly available and can easily be obtained through registration sites like nic.ar.
It is possible that Google Argentina simply forgot to renew the domain google.com.ar and, during the short lapse, Kuroña saw the chance and took it.