Sex.com sold for $13 million

One of the most prized domains on the internet, Sex.com, has been sold at auction for $13 million (£8.2 million)

The sought-after web address went on sale in July this year, following the bankruptcy of its former owner Escom LLC.

The winning bid was placed by Clover Holdings, a company registered on the Caribbean island of St Vincent.

The sale will only be finalised once it wins approval from a California bankruptcy court that is currently overseeing the disposal of Escom assets. That decision will be made on 27th October.

"The proposed sale to buyer was the product of arms-length, good faith negotiations in which the debtor bargained for maximum possible purchase price for the assets," Escom attorney Jeffrey Dulberg wrote to the court.

Mysterious buyer Clover Holdings is registered with an address from privacy-conscious email provider Hushmail, court documents have revealed.

Sex.com has changed hands a number of times since it was first registered by Gary Kremen, founder of internet dating service Match.com, in 1994.

Kremen lost control of the domain to conman Stephen Cohen in 1996, and fought a lengthy legal battle to prove his ownership. Cohen was subsequently fined $65 million and served time in jail for the fraud.

The domain's current $13 million price tag is actually less than it cost Escom LLC when the company took over the domain in 2006, paying around $14 million at auction.

A dozen companies are said to have bid for the domain in the recent auction, according to court documents filed yesterday.