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Bidding Farewell to Year 2000
by Andy Patrizio

1:30 p.m. 4.Jan.2000 PST
No one is happier to be rid of Y2K than Peter de Jager.

With the year 2000 "mess" in our collective rear view mirrors, a Y2K consultant has commanded a record US$10 million bid for Year2000.com in an eBay auction.

But he's not spending the money just yet. Already one winning bid has proven fraudulent, so de Jager won't feel confident until he's cashed a check.

Read ongoing Y2K coverage
Read more in E-Biz

Brampton, Canada-based computer consultant Peter de Jager, and the domain name co-owner The Tenagra Corporation, a Houston, Texas-based Internet marketing agency, placed Year2000.com on eBay last week, in advance of the date rollover. De Jager had put more than four years into the site and wanted out.

"My job was done," he said. "I created that site as a central clearing house for info on Y2K, for the purpose of creating awareness, discussions, and creating solutions and getting people to take it seriously. As of December 31, that job was done. So it was time for me to pack up and move on."

Choosing to sell it on eBay was easier then a straight sale.

"The reality is that there are not that many potential clients for an address like that," said de Jager. "Trying to identify those people [is] very tough. Putting it on eBay for public auction makes it a news item, which generates public awareness."

Bidding for the domain name started at $1 million and the price soared past the old record of $7.5 million that Business.com fetched in December. The $10 million winning bid was placed on 1 January.

Despite his prospective windfall, de Jager doesn't plan on retiring, although he will be taking some much-needed downtime.

He thinks the asking price is fair.

"The site's worth that just in terms of visibility to the right buyer," de Jager said. "It's got 25,000 links pointing to it. Plus, the fact that I sold the site would get worldwide coverage."

The content of the site is not included in the bid, since much of the material is copyrighted by de Jager or other authors. He did have contact with one person who offered significantly less than $10 million for the whole site, content and all, and if the eBay bids all prove fraudulent, that deal could be reached.

It all caps what has been a tough year for de Jager, who has been trying to calm fears of a technological Armageddon.

"We were saying for the last year that the telecom system would be fine, power would be fine, transportation would be fine," he said. On New Year's Eve, he was aloft in an airplane flying to Europe.

But in hindsight, with almost no Y2K hiccups except funny bloopers like "1900" listed as the year on the Star Trek Web site, people are complaining about how much was spent on prevention instead of being happy that disaster didn't strike.

"It absolutely floored me," said de Jager. "We succeeded [in averting Y2K] damn it, we got it right. Now, instead of being thanked, we're being crucified? I don't get it."

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