Argentina’s Google domain was temporarily lost when an Argentinian man purchased it for only $5 on Thursday. When Nicolas Kuroña noticed the domain ‘google.com.ar’ was available to buy, he immediately jumped on the opportunity.
“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!” Kuroña wrote in a tweet that was translated into English.
Kuroña supposedly bought the domain for 540 Argentine Peso, which amounts to $5.79 and £4.81. Supposedly Kuroña’s purchase had no impact on the Google’s international domain, “www.google.com.”
So how did he pull it off?
It’s likely Kuroña was able to purchase the domain within a short timeframe between the domain’s expiry and renewal period, reports Merco Press. When Google Argentina forgot to renew it’s domain, that’s likely when Kuroña swept in and seized it.
This maneuver is referred to as “Cybersquatting” - an act of purchasing or withholding a domain with the intent of profiting off of the owner’s trademark.
Unfortunately Kuroña’s victory purchase didn’t last long, as Google’s Argentinean domain was recovered within moments after he bought it. Regardless of Google’s swift recovery, users still complained that Google Argentina was down roughly three hours and took to Twitter to voice their frustration.
“This happens because nic.ar is SO SO SO bad that it doesn’t support automatic renewals or multi-year buy like most domain registrations in the world,’” one person said.
“Google lost their domain in Argentina for a quick minute after their domain subscription ended and some random guy bought it up Lucky it wasn’t a serious cybersquatter who got it.#google#bigtech,” wrote another.