Public Companies Wasting Domain Name Assets?

It is less well known than it should be, but many large, public companies are sitting on treasure troves of generic domain names. For example, American Express has; and AOL has,, and
Are these domain names being used as well as they should be? One wonders. For starters, most of these generic domains — perfect, in other words, for direct navigation — don’t include any ads.
Here is a short list:

American Express –
AOL –,,
Bank Of America –
Barnes and Noble –
Bayer –
Brown Shoe Company –
Burlington Coat Factory –
Calvin Klein – and
Citibank – Student
CNET –,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,


Many more here.


  1. Great info. I’m sure there are thousands more examples out there.

  2. Paul,
    The aspirin link has a typo in it. Not a big deal, but if someone goes to by hacking the front part off that link they’ll get some sleazy site that looks to install nasties.

  3. Question for any Financial Analyst types that may be reading…Do these domains typically show up as intangible assets on these companies’ balance sheets? (I am too lazy to go pull the 10ks). If so, when calculating enterprise value do you look at what kind of cash these domains could generate if they were being developed? Is there any legitimate why to calculate the market value of a generic domain? Just curious about whether this is being baked into valuations.

  4. Pete
    They’re not baked into valuations, hence, in part, my comment. These are underused and undervalued assets….