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Old 12-14-2006, 11:59 PM   #1
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Default The Most Expensive Vodka Ever

Russian Vodka Maker Buys Vodka.Com Domain for $3 Million

By REUTERS
Published: December 14, 2006
Filed at 10:28 p.m. ET

SAN FRANCISCO ( Reuters) - The billionaire Russian entrepreneur behind Russia'* biggest vodka maker has paid $3 million to acquire the vodka.com domain, part of a bid to expand into the U.*. market, a broker said on Thursday.

Sedo.com, the Web domain brokering unit that is part of Germany'* United Internet AG (UTDI.DE), said it had acted as the sales agent in the deal.

Conglomerate Russian Standard Co., controlled by Roustam Tariko, paid $3 million to an undisclosed seller in a deal completed December 4, according to a Sedo.com spokesman. A New York-based spokeswoman for Russian Standard confirmed the $3 million price tag.

Russian Standard entered the U.*. market in September 2005 with its Imperia brand. The recipe for Imperia is said to have been discovered by 19th century Russian scientist Dimitri Mendeleev, inventor of chemistry'* periodic table of elements.

Russian Standard Co. controls not only two-thirds of the sales of premium vodka in Russia, but also owns Russian Standard Bank, the country'* largest private bank.

Vodka.com'* price tag is among the highest ever revealed for a generic Web domain. In May, diamond.com reportedly sold for $7.5 million to jewelry retailer Ice.com. Business.com sold for $7.5 million in 1999.

Earlier this year, a source told Reuters that Sex.com had sold for around $12 million to a Boston-based company called Escom LLC, although the exact figure has never been disclosed.
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