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Melbourne gets a new address

9:24AM | Tuesday, 30 September

Melbourne is one of the first cities in the world, following London and New York, to acquire its very own domain name – .melbourne.   Individuals, business owners and brands located in Victoria will now have the opportunity to register a locally relevant web address and be a part of Melbourne and all that it represents.   From 10am Wednesday, October 1, eligible businesses and individuals can apply to purchase a .melbourne web address.   The Bank of Melbourne is one of the first companies to register with the address.   Another ambassador of a .melbourne web address is www.biketours.melbourne, a micro business operated by passionate Melburnian Michelle Brown. The business offers sightseeing tours around the city.   Successful candidates who apply for a .melbourne domain name during the ‘land rush’ period will be notified between November 9 and 12 and will join Melbourne Festival and other first-to-market businesses to use a .melbourne address.   Other businesses to become ambassadors of a .melbourne web address include Melbourne Festival, Eureka Skydeck, Destination Melbourne and the Colonial Tramcar Restaurant.   Following the land rush application period during October, .melbourne web addresses become available on a first-come first-served basis from 10am on Wednesday, November 12.   Prices for .melbourne web addresses will start from approximately $65 and can be purchased from featured retailers such as Crazy Domains, Instra, Melbourne IT and Netregistry.   Adrian Kinderis, CEO of ARI Registry Services – the Melbourne-based technology company managing .melbourne – said the milestone would mark one of the most significant technology infrastructure projects in the state.   “A .melbourne web address will allow Victorian businesses and individuals to show an online affiliation to the city and increase geographical relevance to their target audience. There is also potential for businesses to be rewarded with added search engine optimisation benefits.”   For those interested in registering for a .melbourne web address or to find out more information, please visit www.live.melbourne

How Freelancer.com’s $US400 million takeover offer compares with other recent tech deals

9:27PM | Wednesday, 11 September

Freelancer.com’s $US400 million takeover offer from Japanese recruitment company Recruit Co has attracted plenty of attention.   It’s a hefty chunk of money for a company that grew out of chief executive Matt Barrie’s garage.   If the $US400 million offer for the global online outsourcing platform is accepted, it’s likely to be one of the biggest technology company deals done in Australia this year.   Here are some of the top technology deals in Australia in the past 12 months whose dollar value has been reported, from data compiled by Charles Lindop of KTM Capital:   1. M2 Telecommunications and Dodo Australia, Eftel   In March this year M2 Telecommunications bought phone and internet provider Dodo Australia and telecommunications infrastructure company Eftel for $248 million. M2 said in a statement at the time Dodo and Eftel were highly complementary to its “sizeable” consumer division. “The acquisitions are an excellent complement to our consumer division and combined, our business possesses an excellent capability to grow our share of both the consumer and small to medium business market,” M2 chief executive Geoff Horth said.   2. Corporation Service Company and Melbourne IT   Melbourne IT sold its Digital Brand Services division to US-based Corporation Service Company for $152.5 million in March. DBS provides online brand protection and consultancy services to global organisations. “While this was not a business that we had specifically earmarked for sale, given the value creation provided by the transaction, this was an opportunity which could not be ignored,” Melbourne IT chief executive Theo Hnarakis said in a statement.   3. William Hill and tomwaterhouse.com   UK betting giant William Hill took a punt on bookmaker Tom Waterhouse’s online business last month in a deal that could be worth up to $104 million. Under the deal, William Hill paid $34 million up front, and a potential further $70 million if certain earnings targets are met. “International expansion is a key part of William Hill’s growth strategy and making Australia our second home is our priority,” William Hill chief executive Ralph Topping said in a statement.   4. iiNet and Adam Internet   Internet provider iiNet offered to buy South Australia-based Adam Internet for $60 million in August. Telstra had tried to buy Adam but was thwarted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. “We believe that this transaction provides real benefit to Adam Internet’s customers and staff as it aligns them with iiNet, Australia’s leading ISP in customer service,” Adam’s chief executive Greg Hicks said.   5. Webjet and Zuji   Travel booking website Webjet snapped up fellow online travel agency Zuji for $25 million in December last year. Webjet managing director John Guscic told SmartCompany the deal represented a unique opportunity to substantially expand Webjet's marketing footprint, particularly in Asia. “We've known Zuji since its inception and we know they’ve built out a very attractive business in Asia and we have a desire to expand into the Asian markets and Zuji has given us the platform to achieve that,” he said.   6. SMS Management & Technology and Indicium   In July SMS Management & Technology bought IT infrastructure and managed services company Indicium for $22 million. SMS CEO Tom Stianos said in a statement at the time: “The acquisition of Indicium supports our growing Managed Services and Infrastructure Consulting capability, and meets our strategic imperative to increase our annuity revenue. This is a high growth segment of the market and Indicium will accelerate SMS’ offer of managed services in the cloud market.”   7. Woolworths and Quantium   The supermarket giant took a 50% stake in Quantium, Australia’s leading data consultancy, for a reported $20 million in May. Quantium said in a statement it would provide a “wide range of data, analytical, media and software services to Woolworths as well as help deliver customer insights to Woolworths’ suppliers”.   And where would the Freelancer.com deal rank among deals in the world? Pretty highly according to data compiled by Australian investment firm Right Click Capital.   While it’s nowhere near the $US130 billion deal Verizon Communications has made to buy Vodafone’s 45% of Verizon Wireless this month, or Microsoft’s $US7.2 billion takeover of Nokia, it’s not far off the €360 million ($US477 million) paid by French payment solutions provider Ingenico for online payment provider Ogone in January.

2012 BRW Young Rich List – eight standouts from a tech dominated year

9:05AM | Thursday, 27 September

The 2012 BRW Young Rich List has a strong start-up and tech flavor, with Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar heading the rankings.

US start-up applies for 307 generic top-level domains as local firms baulk at cost

6:47AM | Wednesday, 6 June

Australian businesses and organisations may have shunned new top-level domain names, but US-based start-up Donuts has applied for more than 300, after raising US$100 million.

Top-level domain name change gets go-ahead, but start-up benefits limited

6:03AM | Tuesday, 21 June

Companies and organisations can now choose their own internet domain names after the peak naming authority confirmed its plans to introduce a top-level domain program, although the price is set to be out of the reach of many start-ups.

Entrepreneurs primed for domain name opportunity

5:30AM | Tuesday, 24 May

The looming introduction of a new domain name regime will “open the floodgates” for entrepreneurs keen to take a slice of the $5 billion industry, the CEO of a wholesale domain provider has claimed.

Australian web domain hits two million sites as competition soars

3:11PM | Tuesday, 8 March

The number of registrations on Australia’s country code domain has hit two million, with internet entrepreneur Fred Schebesta urging start-ups to register multiple domain names as competition grows.

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