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Farm Bureau finds wealthy friend in Facebook

January 11, 2011

In the 21st Century, Shakespeare might ask, “What’s in a domain name?” To the 6 million-member American Farm Bureau Federation, the answer is a lot of money. FACEBOOK/

Facebook paid $8.5 million to acquire the Internet address ‘fb.com’ for internal use by its employees from the largest U.S. farm group.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced the purchase on Nov. 15, when Facebook unveiled its new messaging service. But he didn’t reveal the pricetag.

“The Farm Bureau agreed to sell us fb.com and we in return have agreed not to sell farm subsidies,” Zuckerberg said in an account on techcrunch.com.

At their annual meeting in Atlanta, Farm Bureau officials on Tuesday said the organization earned $8.5 million by selling a couple of domain names but is barred from identifying the buyer. The farm group uses fb.org as its Internet address but may own four dozen domain names related to farming.

Photo credit: Reuters/Robert Galbraith (Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at company headquarters Aug. 18, 2010)

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