DONE! Ventures, a Manhattan Beach, California-based Internet marketing and publishing firm, is slapping NBC Universal with a lawsuit after a domain name sales deal went awry.
DONE! CEO Ben Padnos claims NBC Universal accepted an offer to sell the domain names Women.com and Women.net for $1 million, only to have President & CEO Jeff Zucker overrule and block the transaction after the agreement was reached.
The complaint, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday, June 3, alleges breach of contract on those grounds. According to the complaint, which we’ve embedded below, NBC Universal signed an exclusive agreement with domain brokerage firm Sedo.com for the sale of both domain names, each for $600,000, about two weeks ago.
DONE! Ventures says it made a $1 million offer on May 21, and that NBC Universal accepted this offer on May 24. Three days after the agreement was reached, Sedo informed DONE! that Zucker personally overruled the transaction and the domains were no longer for sale.
DONE! is now asking the Court to enforce “specific performance”, requiring NBC Universal to transfer ownership of the domains. The company says it is currently developing an online content network for which the domain name Women.com is critical, as the target audience will consist of “modern, powerful, intelligent women”.
As far as we know, GE-owned NBC Universal has never used the Women.com and Women.net domain names for any active websites, even though the company owns and operates iVillage, a media outlet specifically targeting women.
We asked NBC Universal for comment and are awaiting their response.
Update: the official response is … no comment.