£8 is apparently enough to buy you the world’s most important website – but only for a few minutes
Google was the subject of an unlikely takeover bid today after one of its ex-employees somehow wound up purchasing the company’s main Google.com domain.
Amazon intern Sanmay Ved was apparently able to purchase the rights to the search giant’s homepage for a mere $12 (£8), and even received full admin privileges before Google realised its mistake.
Ved, who had previously worked at Google, said that he was browsing Google Domains in order to learn more about the service when he noticed that Google.com was free, and promptly snapped it up.
“As soon as I completed purchase, I received two emails from firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, which is not the norm when you book domains via Google Domains,” Ved wrote in his account of the saga.
“My Google webmaster tools was auto-updated with webmaster related messages for the Google.com domain which actually means ownership was transferred to me.
“One gets [those] messages in [the] search console only for those domains for which one is the verified admin and owner.”
Google has so far not commented on the claims, but worryingly for them, Ved says he also received notifications for the change in ownership for various Google properties (although he did not mention which) that are powered by Google Sites.
“Quite clearly, ownership had been granted to me. Order was successful,” said Ved.
Ved said he notified Google about what had happened, and received a full refund, but no explanation as to what happened.
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