April 13, 2024

Madrid.com, a NEW website in direct competition to MadridMan.com, is surprisingly NOT owned by the city of Madrid – or even the Comunidad de Madrid. It’s not even owned by a Spanish company. It’s owned, in fact, by Barcelona.com, Inc., a (one-time??) Maryland, USA-based company which ALSO owns Barcelona.com. The two websites even look similarly. The original registrants of Barcelona.com and founders of Barcelona.com, Inc. are/were both Catal├ín-Spanish citizens.

In 2003, Barcelona.com, Inc. successfully appealed a 2000 WIPO decision (WIPO: “World Intellectual Property Organization Arbitration and Mediation Center”) to transfer the domain name to the city of Barcelona, Spain and retained the domain name after the 3-year dispute.

It would seem that Barcelona.com, Inc. has become emboldened, successfully purchasing Madrid.com from Mail.com, a Free Email service which bought and warehoused hundreds of recognizable country, city, and other .com names for use of *.com email addresses. Mail.com owns USA.com, Europe.com, Berlin.com, & Tokyo.com to name only a few. For years, I’ve had an email address using the *.madrid.com domain name. In fact, I see it STILL WORKS – for the time being!

Madrid.com has only been online for a few months, has only a Google PageRank 3, and has a very poor Alexa Traffic Ranking due to its “newness”. If you conduct a Google search using the following syntax, link:madrid.com, you’ll find the ONLY links to it come from other Barcelona.com, Inc. owned websites including Barcelona.com, Asia.com, & India.com, and none from other outside sources. This tells me that almost no one else knows about it yet. Expect a huge marketing campaign coming soon, however. They didn’t go to all the effort and expense to acquire the domain name for nothing!

Simply owning Madrid.com does not ensure success on the internet – but it certainly helps. It’s still totally new and they need to get the word out that Madrid.com even exists as a Madrid Travel Portal. That costs money in advertising. Money, I’m sure, they have.

So why am I, MadridMan.com, HELPING Madrid.com with free advertising? Good question. I don’t mean to promote them. I mention it mainly because RIGHT NOW – and so far – MadridMan.com ranks higher than Madrid.com in every way – and MadridMan.com has better advertising rates too! (the Barcelona.com advertising rates are sky-high!). The story about Madrid.com’s existence is news-worthy. You’ve got to admire the lofty goals of some companies – and people. To achieve such seemingly impossible goals is truly inspiring – as long as no one gets hurt along the way, of course.

But I can imagine the day when Madrid.com may become Madrid’s Main Travel portal just as Barcelona.com has become for Barcelona. Owning any city’s dot-com domain name is a powerful tool; it’s simple, short, and descriptive. Big travel corporations like Barcelona.com, Inc. have a lot of power, money, and influence.

Barcelona.com, Inc. is likely to be comforted that in 2002, the city of Madrid LOST a WIPO decision to the email warehousing company (“Easylink Services Corporation”) for the proper ownership of the Madrid.com domain name. But should the Madrid City Government or Madrid Regional Government grow new teeth and make a better case for themselves, Barcelona.com, Inc. will likely be ready for the challenge. The 2002 WIPO decision for Madrid.com and the 2003 appeal to retain Barcelona.com sets strong precedents and carries a lot of defense ammunition should the region or city of Madrid attempt such a takeover attempt again. They, the Comunidad de Madrid, should be happy they DO OWN the Spain-based domain name (with .es extension) Madrid.es and leave it at that.

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