The OFT claimed that Adam Ripley was behind a number of domain name registration businesses - Solus Online Ltd, ISIS Online Ltd, Select Registrations and European Domain Bureau. The OFT received numerous complaints from businesses who had been contacted and informed that a third party was interested in registering a domain name similar to their own business name.
The businesses were offered the opportunity to register the name but were told they only had a short period of time - usually a matter of minutes - in which to accept the offer or the domain name would be registered by the third party. The OFT did not believe that such third parties existed and Mr Ripley was unable to provide evidence to support the claims. In addition businesses were offered a 10-year registration for co.uk domain names when, in reality, only 2-year periods are available.
The OFT took court action after Mr Ripley failed to provide undertakings that he would stop using these sales tactics. Following an application for an interim injunction, Mr Ripley has now provided interim undertakings to the High Court that he will cease those practices which the OFT consider to be misleading. If Mr Ripley continues to contest the case, a full trial will take place to seek a court order against Mr Ripley.
John Vickers, OFT Chairman, said: "Businesses should be wary about cold-callers putting pressure on them to purchase domain names in haste. Claims that third parties are interested in names must be substantiated and we will take action where such claims are misleading."
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Susie Hughes © Shout99.com 2005