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Network Solutions inches toward domain auctions

The domain name registrar takes the first step toward creating a domain name auction service on its Web site by linking sellers with buyers and says it plans to launch bidding by fall.

    Network Solutions has taken the first step toward creating a domain name auction on its Web site.

    This week, the domain registration giant launched InSearchofMy.com, a new service that pairs prospective domain name buyers with those looking to sell the rights to their domains. The service currently acts much like the classified section of a newspaper--listing the domain name that is up for sale and the contact information of its owner. However, Network Solutions (NSI) said it plans to allow bidding through the site by early fall.

    "This is the first phase," a representative for NSI said. "Right now we're just bringing buyers and sellers together."

    The representative declined to say how many domains are now listed with the service.

    The new service comes in the wake of a number of high-profile domain auctions. In February, Bank of America bought the Loans.com Web address for $3 million in an online auction offered through GreatDomains.com.

    In January, the Tenagra Corporation attempted to sell the rights to the Year2000.com domain through eBay. The company later resorted to a private sale of the Web address after receiving a number of hoax bids, including one for $10 million.

    NSI does not plan to charge any fees for the domain auctions, the representative said. Instead, the company plans to charge for appraisal and escrow services that it will offer through InSearchofMy.com.

    Online security software firm VeriSign acquired NSI last month in a $15.3 billion deal.