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A person managed to buy Google.com domain

Difficult to believe this, as we hardly come across such news. A strange thing happened at 1:20 AM Eastern Time on Tuesday, Sanmay Ved, an ex-Google employee and current-Amazon employee,  September 29 experienced something of a shock when he found that the world's largest search engine website, Google.com, was "available" for purchase.

It's the cost of the most-trafficked domain in the world — Only $12.
Expecting to get an error message, Ved added the domain to his shopping cart and made payment. The entire purchasing process went through without any difficulty.

 Ved has posted all the ordeal along with screenshots on his LinkedIn account blog post.

 I received two emails, one from sc-noreply@google.com, and one from wmt-noreply@google.com, which is not the norm when you book domains via Google Domains as I have booked new, previously un-registered domains before, and I have never received emails from the above aliases on booking the domains.  I will not share the contents of the emails here given they relate to the Google.com domain. The domain also successfully appeared in my Google Domains order history.

The purchase got completed and the card was charged (which would not have happened unless I actually successfully completed checkout, as otherwise I would have received an error). The charge was not a pre-auth.

Within moments, his inbox and Google Webmaster Tools were flooded with webmaster related messages confirming his ownership for Google.com.

However, soon he received an order cancellation email and refund from Google Domains, as Google personally owns Google Domains, so it can still control all purchases made through it and revoke them if needed.

Google could do this given the registration service used by  (aka Google Domains) belonged to Google, unlike the 2003 event in which Microsoft forgot to renew their Hotmail UK domain which was registered with Nominet UK. As a result, the Hotmail UK domain was returned to the open market for pickup by anybody who fancied it. 

Somebody else picked it up, and as Microsoft wasn't the registrar themselves, Microsoft wasn't able to cancel the order, and take it back automatically. In this case, I don't know what caused Google to lose ownership of the domain Google.com as a result of which it was available in the open market.

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