Last week Google seemed to be down in Argentina. It seems like the domain expired so one guy bought it.
How one guy became the king of Google Argentina
Nicolas David Kuroña, a designer living in Buenos Aires, first noticed that Google didn’t seem to be working earlier this month.
According to the BBC, Kuroña began receiving WhatsApp messages from friends wondering what was going on. So he did a little digging.
Kuroña headed to NIC Argentina, a local domain name registry, and realised what had happened. The google.com.ar domain seems to have expired and was now available to purchased for just 270 pesos. This equates to about $3.70.
It didn’t take too long for other people to notice the registry change. A few tweets began popping up showing that revealed Kuroña was the new domain owner.
Eventually he acknowledged the purchase on Twitter.
“The domain expired, I was able to buy it legally,” Kuroña tweeted.
“I have the purchase invoice, so I’m calm.”
— Nicolas David Kuroña (@Argentop) April 23, 2021
“I want to make it clear that I never had any bad intentions, I just tried to buy it and the NIC allowed me to,” Kuroña told the BBC.
“When the purchase process was completed and my data appeared, I knew that something was going to happen… I was really anxious.”
It hadn’t actually expired
Interestingly, Google has said that the google.com.ar domain hadn’t actually expired and that it wasn’t due for renewal until July, 2021.
And according to Open Data Córdoba, a group that tracks expired Argentine domains, this is true. So we don’t know why the domain suddenly became available.
“For a short term, the domain was acquired by someone else,” Google told the BBC.
Apparently the company was able to gain control of it again quickly, but it’s unclear how.
In fact, Kuroña is yet to be refunded for his purchase. Come on Google, do the right thing here.