A 30-year-old web designer bought Google’s official domain in Argentina for just a few pesos, following a mysterious mix-up.
What would you do if you discovered that Google’s web page no longer worked in your country? Well for one thing you might have to go the whole day without knowing which artist was at the top of the charts this time thirty years ago, how to poach an egg, or what is the dictionary definition of “cromulent”. But a 30 year old web designer from Buenos Aires, who noticed that google.com.ar didn’t work, decided to try buying the domain. The crazy thing is, it actually worked.
According to the BBC, Nicolas Kurona noticed that Google’s Argentina domain wasn’t working as normal after he received some WhatsApp messages flagging the problem. After trying to access it himself without any luck, he visited the Network Information Centre Argentina, the authority which regulates official domain names in the country. After searching Google’s domain name he noticed that it was available for purchase.
Hardly believing that it could really work, Kurona nonetheless followed the steps for ownership, and was soon sent an email invoice for the princely sum of 270 pesos (£2.08/$2.90). Google’s official Argentina homepage now legally belonged to him.
Immediately, Kurona visited his newly purchased prize – and as soon as he pressed Enter on the URL, his own personal data appeared in place of the familiar multi-coloured logo. Rather than feeling proud, the man panicked — and took to Twitter to clarify his intentions:
Fortunately there were no negative repercussions for the cheeky chap who bought a webpage from the world’s best-known website, but Google Argentina has confirmed that the purchase was indeed genuine, saying in a statement: “For a short term, the domain was acquired by someone else”.
Nobody knows exactly how this mix-up came about, as Google’s rights to the domain name are registered until July 2021. All that we know right now is that Nicolas Kurona will have one awesome anecdote to to tell for many years to come.