In an interesting turn of events Social Entrepreneur Mike Mann, a longtime vegetarian, has accepted PETA’s request for the donation of the domain Sex.com as long as the IRS agrees to recognize the $50 million, Sex.com’s estimated value, as a tax deductible donation.
Mann is known for his charitable projects like Grassroots.org, which offers free web services to non-profit organizations.
Before animal rights advocates and veggie-burger lovers everywhere start celebrating, it is important to note that even if, and that’s a big if, the IRS agrees to recognize the $50 million, Mann does not own the domain name or the company that owns Sex.com. He has sunk a lot of cash into the company—$5 million loan to ESCOM, the owner of Sex.com, and an addition $1 million investment—but those figures alone do not translate into the ability to transfer the domain to PETA. It is expected that the additional investors and creditors involved with Sex.com may take issue with the donation.
A very confusing situation continues to generate head scratching. To summarize: DOM Partners, a creditor and investor in ESCOM, set an auction for Sex.com to begin on March 18. Mann filed an involuntary bankruptcy motion to halt the auction of Sex.com. The auction was postponed indefinitely. DOM Partners answered with a motion to dismiss the bankruptcy petition alleging that Mann operates ESCOM and has not been able to pay $4,313,276.16, which is DOM’s outstanding secure debt. Now Mann has offered the domain to PETA with the IRS condition attached.
Only time will tell what will become of Sex.com.