An Argentina man claimed ownership of the google.com.ar domain for a ridiculously cheap price after it was reported to have expired on Wednesday (April 21.)
Nicolas David Kuroña bought the domain for AR $540, which is equivalent to about U.S. $3.85 at the unofficial exchange rate, and led to a temporary shutdown of the search engine ending in ".ar," MercoPress reports.
The incident had no relation to the international version of Google.com, rather just Google Argentina, which Kuroña took the opportunity to register himself. This process is commonly referred to as "Cybersquatting," which is defined as "registering, selling or using a domain name with the intent of profiting from the goodwill of someone else's trademark," according to Nolo.com.
Kuroña tweeted clarification of this incident, which was translated to English -- ironically, by Google Translate -- as, "I want to clarify that enter http://nic.ar I saw the name of http://google.com.ar available and legally buy it accordingly!"
However, it was confirmed that Google had already recovered the domain minutes after the purchase.
Internet users complained about the website's problems for hours, but as most assumed its server had crashed, a common occurrence, Kuroña admitted the truth on Twitter.
Kuroña was no longer registered as the owner of "google.com.ar" as of 11:00 p.m. on Wednesday, amid a backlash of users who found out about the incident on social media.
The Open Data Córdoba group, which tracks expired Argentine domains, noted that Google's domain hadn't actually expired and its expiration date was in July, but is unable to explain what happened in order for Kuroña to purchase the domain.
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