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Online Company Sued For Buying And Exploiting Domain Names

New York (NY) - A lawsuit has been filed against Network Solutions because it buys up domain names that people search for to ensure that they don’t shop around other domain services.

According to the suit filed Monday in a Los Angeles US District Court, when users check a domain name’s availability at Network Solutions, the Internet company would sometimes buy that domain and essentially "hold" it. Users could still ultimately purchase it at the standard Network Solutions price, but the move prevented them from buying it at another domain servie provider.

Florida resident Chris McElroy brought the suit forward, saying he experienced this when checking the availability of a certain website and then was forced to purchase the domain from Network Solutions.

The company provides domain hosting for around $35 per month, as much as three or four times what other services charge.

McElroy is seeking unspecified damages and an end to the practice. He also wants to bring it to class-action status.