Nicolás Kuroña, the guy who bought Google for less than 4 dollars

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Author Alessandro 29 April 2021
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What would you do if you noticed that the Google home page is down? An Argentine web designer bought it, for less than 4 dollars!

It is incredible what happened last Wednesday in Argentina, where ** Nicolás David Kuroña, a young web designer became the owner of google.com.ar**, the Argentine homepage of Google, even if only for a few hours.

But let’s start from the beginning.

Buenos Aires, April 23, 21.52 local time. Nicolás starts receiving messages warning him that Google is not working. “I entered www.google.com.ar on my browser and saw that it didn’t work, so I realized that there was something strange,” he told the BBC. He then decides to visit the Network Information Center Argentina (Nic), the Argentine government service that manages the registration of Internet domains in the country to check the status of Google’s Argentine domain and… surprise: Google Argentina domain was available.

La schermata che si è presentata a Nicolas quando ha inserito l'url su Nic.ar
La schermata che si è presentata a Nicolas quando ha inserito l'url su Nic.ar

Nicolas thought that the purchase would not be successful but decided to try it anyway and once the registration procedure was completed, he received an email with a regular purchase receipt.

“I was frozen, I could not believe what was happening” he said “I never imagined that the transaction would go through.”

“I am calm. It’s all legal. I have the purchase invoice” he immediately wrote on Twitter, in a post that quickly surpassed 80,000 likes.

“Anyone can legally purchase a domain with the .com.ar extension if the domain name is available”, the legal notes of nic.ar report.

And so, while the global Google.com site ran smoothly, the local page went offline until midnight. During that time, those who accessed Google Argentina were redirected to the page of Nicolás. And everything took place in full legality.

Eventually everything returned to normal. After a couple of hours, a spokesperson for the Mountain View giant told the local press that the problem related to Google.com.ar had been solved. “For a short time, our domain was bought by someone else” acknowledged Google Argentina, “but we regained control very quickly.”

But what made the “google.com.ar” domain available? The answer is still a mystery. One possibility is that Google Argentina simply forgot to renew their domain. In fact, all web domains have a limited duration, and upon expiration, after a short period in which the previous owner can repurchase them, they are automatically released for anyone who want to buy them.

Google, however, assures that its domain had not expired and was valid until July 2021. Position confirmed by Open Data Córdoba, a site that tracks registered and expired Argentine domains.

It could then have been a technical problem or a carelessness on the part of those who manage the Internet domain registration system.

At the end, Nicolás has not been contacted and has not obtained any payment or compensation for the non-enjoyment of the registered domain, neither from Google nor from Nic. There is no doubt, however, that the visibility obtained by this story has amply rewarded Nicolás for the few pesos spent.

…and you would buy the Google.com domain for 4 $? 😃

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