Facebook Paid $8.5 Million For FB.com

Facebook paid $8.5 million to the American Farm Bureau for the domain name FB.com that the social network's employees now use internally.

Facebook paid the American Farm Bureau $8.5 million for the domain name FB.com, now used internally by employees of the social network. The transaction might have included other related web addresses yet to be revealed.

The social network’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg had first revealed the purchase itself, but not the price, during the November 15 press conference announcing the new messaging platform. Today Reuters reported that the purchase price of $8.5 million.

The news wire obtained the price information from the annual meeting of the Farm Bureau in Atlanta today, where officials said the organization earned $8.5 million on the sale of “a couple of domain names,” but were not allowed to identify the buyer. This suggests that the transaction included at least one additional web address besides FB.com.

The Farm Bureau continues to use fb.org for its Internet address, and may own as many as four dozen domain names related to farming, according to Reuters. The article didn’t spell out any of these additional addresses, nor for that matter, what URL(s) Facebook might have received in addition to FB.com.

As for the price, $8.5 million may seems steep when regarded only as something for internal use by employees; call it a legal expenditure and the amount makes a lot more sense, part of Facebook’s overarching strategy of pre-empting domain name squatting and trademark infringement. Assuming the Farm Bureau passed on most of the proceeds of the sale to agricultural concerns that need the money, that makes the whole transaction a win-win.

Does the price paid for FB.com and possibly another domain or two change your opinion of the transaction? Was it a good move for Facebook to buy the address and use it for employee email addresses?