Saskatchewan

Regina lawyer doubles as 'merchant' of love

Tony Merchant ventures into the world of internet domain name business.

Tony Merchant ventures into the internet domain name business

Regina class-action lawyer Tony Merchant says he's sold 'in excess of $50,000 US' in internet domain names ending in '.love' — which his law firm controls. (CBC )

A prominent Regina lawyer can now call himself the Merchant of ".love." 

Merchant Law Group owner Tony Merchant has ventured into the internet domain name business, acquiring the .love top-level domain and putting domain names ending in ".love" up for sale Friday. 

In one day of business, sales have been good, according to Merchant, with such buyers as Burger King, Wal-Mart and Rolex already making purchases.

"We've sold about 2,700 domain names so far," Merchant said on Saturday. 

"That's in excess of $50,000 US, probably up to about $55,000," he said. 

He admitted the domain name business is outside his company's normal realm of practising law.

"Fair to say that people have not thought of Tony Merchant as the love machine," he said.

His group landed on the .love domain by way of first trying to purchase .law in 2010. After consulting with some companies in Europe, the group decided to bid for purchasing the .love domain, he said. 

"About five or six months ago we won the bidding war against seven other contestants who were also seeking .love, and then opened for business yesterday," he said.

Now, Merchant Law Group can sell .love domain names at $29.95 to individuals or companies looking to purchase one.

He expects his venture to open up the internet even more, especially because "love" is a ubiquitous, global word, he said. 

"We've also found it very interesting that a huge number of people form China have purchased, and many other parts of Asia," he said. 

"This is an industry that's going to go on for 100 years, if not 2,000 years, because until human beings learn to communicate brain to brain without keyboards and words, we'll be using the internet which is really just through the air," he said.

He cautioned that he doesn't see his law firm venturing into any sort of dating service business. 

"I think the Merchant matchmaking plan would be a bridge too far for us. This is as far into the love business that we're as likely to go," Merchant said. 

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