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Man buys Google.com domain name for $12

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Yours for about £8

Search giant Google accidentally allowed someone else to buy the Google.com domain name. And the price? Just $12. That's a bargain, considering it's the most popular domain name in the world.

The purchaser was actually a former Google employee, named Sanmay Ved. He was up late at night searching Google Domains when he came across the iconic domain name.

"I thought it was some error, but I could actually complete check out," Ved told Business Insider.

When the transaction went through – to Ved's surprise – he received emails with internal company information. Luckily for Google, Ved reported this to Google's security team. But he could have done what he wanted with it.

"The scary part was I had access to the webmaster controls for a minute," he said.

Sadly, his spell in charge didn't last any longer than that. A minute later, he received an email notifying him that Google Domains had cancelled the sale, saying someone had registered the site before he could. He was also refunded his $12. But not before he could take a load of screenshots that he would use in a LinkedIn post about the adventure.

Read more: Britain gets .uk domain name

"So for one minute I had access," Ved said. "At least I can now say I'm the man who owned Google.com for one minute."

This isn't the first time a tech firm has accidentally let someone else buy its domain name. In 2003, Microsoft forgot to renew its Hotmail.co.uk web address, only for someone else to buy it. Again, it ended happily with the buyer returning it to Microsoft.

Google also changed its name to Alphabet recently, without realising that alphabet.com is owned by BMW.

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