Inside a midtown hotel, Larry Fischer is on his cell phone with a financial backer as his partner Ari Goldberger does quick research on a laptop computer. They are bidding furiously at this auction of Internet domain names, with hopes of snagging megayachts.com. The duo won't be deterred. They want this name.
"$110,000, yes or no? Quick," Fischer barks at Eli, the investor at the end of the phone.
Someone else makes a bid for $120,000. Fischer and Goldberger up the ante, and then again.
Going once, going twice ... sold to Fischer and Goldberger for $150,000.
"You got it," a smiling Fischer tells Eli. Mazel tovs are exchanged.
-- The opening of "Domain Names: 21st Century Real Estate," by Associated Press business writer Adam Goldman
Fascinating stat from the article: "At the end of first quarter 2007, at least 128 million domain names had been registered worldwide, a 31 percent increase over the previous year."