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Internet Address Bidding High

August 8, 1999

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Bidding for use of the Internet address Drugs.com jumped wildly every few minutes before an auction closed with an offer of $823,456.

The business that submitted the winning bid Friday wanted to remain anonymous.

Several large drug companies and well-heeled speculators had expressed an interest, according to Eric MacIver, a 21-year-old Internet entrepreneur in Mesa, Ariz., who held an option on the Drugs.com domain name.

``The bidder will emerge as someone of note,″ possibly at a news conference in a week or so, said Steve Newman, executive vice president of online broker GreatDomains. GreatDomains, based in Los Angeles, was joined by Dotbroker.com in conducting the auction.

Other Internet names currently on auction include Loans.com with a high bid as of Friday at $480,000. ``We’re going to set an end date in two or three weeks,″ Newman said of the Loans.com name auction.

Other names attracting early interest at auction include Tobacco.com ($150,000 bid), Slim.com ($200,000), Houses.com ($65,000) and VideoDating.com ($35,000). No dates for the end of those auctions have been set.

In May, the name Wallstreet.com was sold for $1 million to a Venezuelan company, but a relative bargain currently up for auction is Wallstreet.org ($45,000 bid as of Friday).

Last year Compaq Computer Corp. paid $3.35 million for the name AltaVista.com for its AltaVista search engine. Since then, Compaq sold a controlling stake in the engine to the Internet investment company CMGI Inc.

MacIver said that in May he purchased on option to buy the Drugs.com name from Bonnie Neubeck, owner of a Minneapolis Internet marketing company, when he had been considering an online drug sale business. MacIver later decided against forming such a company, but he is expected to get the biggest share of the auction price for Drugs.com. Mrs. Neubeck will receive the option amount. Neither would disclose terms of their agreement.

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