Facebook has spent millions of dollars on domain name purchases. From the two-letter .COM, FB.com, for $8.5 million to Facebook.com itself for $200,000 as an upgrade from TheFacebook.com (a decision immortalized by Justin Timberlake in The Social Network, telling Zuckerberg to “drop the ‘the'”). Aside from those two names, the company has purchased Messenger.com, Parse.com, and Internet.org for undisclosed fees.
It seems that the company has added to its spending by purchasing the one-word .COM domain Rooms.com, discovered by myself on Twitter, and first reported in the media by Elliot Silver’s DomainInvesting.com.
This acquisition comes as Facebook announced the launch of its new service, Messenger Rooms, a rival to the popular video conferencing platform Zoom.
The Rooms.com domain was acquired from World Travel Holdings Inc, a company that operates a number of travel brands including Cruises.com. Looking at the history of Rooms.com, it doesn’t seem like World Travel Holdings was using the name at all, which may have made it easier to part with.
Facebook did not acquire the name directly from World Travel Holdings. They used an intermediary, Hogan Lovells. Hogan Lovells is the legal firm of choice for Facebook’s digital assets, looking after Facebook’s intellectual property rights and representing the company in UDRP cases, too.
Intermediaries such as Hogan Lovells are used to disguise the true identity of the buyer. In the past, Hogan Lovells has helped Facebook to acquire names such as Messenger.com, Groups.com, and F8.com.
Unfortunately, we have no idea how much Facebook paid for Rooms.com.