Thursday , August 11 2022

$17 billion REA Group to delete adult domains after inquiry

The company says old domains were from acquisitions and historical activity.

Logo for REA Group has the outline of a house inside a red circle and the words REA Group in black letters

For years, REA Group (ASX: REA), a $17 billion market cap group of online real estate companies, has owned a handful of adult-related domain names. The company is deleting the domains following an inquiry from Domain Name Wire.

REA Group was founded in 1995 at its flagship site realestate.com.au. Its network includes over a dozen sites that it owns outright or has invested in, including Housing.com and Realtor.com.

Yesterday, a Domain Name Wire reader pointed out that the company owns FindNudeDude .com, FindNudeDude .com.au, and SexOnline .com.au. When I checked, the first two domains forwarded to realestate.com.au.

I ran a reverse Whois at DomainTools on the contact email address and didn’t find any other questionable domains in the portfolio.

In response to an inquiry from Domain Name Wire, the company responded:

The domain names in question were part of the Group’s domain name portfolio as a result of historic activity or acquisitions dating back 10-20 years. They are not required and we’ve instructed our domain name registrar to cancel them.

Historical Whois records at DomainTools for SexOnline .com.au date to 2008. The name in Whois reflects a co-founder of HubOnline, a company REA Group acquired in 2006. Historical records for FindNudeDude .com date to its 2009 registration date and show that REA Group was the original registrant. A Wayback Machine capture from 2011 shows the domain forwarded to realholidays.com.au, a site that was operated by REA Group but now forwards to VRBO.

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