The free market has spoken: Sex is worth more than porn.
That's one conclusion from the near record-breaking auction of an Internet domain name announced Tuesday. The rights to Porn.com brought in the second-highest payment for an address since the Web's creation, with closely held MXN Ltd. forking over $9.5 million.
Not a bad return for a domain that sold for a reported $47,000 in 1997. But Porn.com couldn't command the payday of Sex.com, which Boston firm Escom bought last year for more than $11 million in cash and stock.
Porn is evidently still preferred over business: Business.com sold in 1999 for $7.5 million.
The Porn.com deal is one of many in the last two years in which common nouns were exchanged for uncommon money. Cameras.com sold for $1.5 million and Scores.com fetched $1.2 million. Like Porn.com, they were sold by domain broker and manager Moniker.