By MICHELLE CELARIER
12:29 AM, January 30, 2013
PM, January 29, 2013
Bill Ackman has gotten
under Herbalife’s skin.
supplements company that Ackman dissed as a “pyramid scheme” has purchased
three domain names related to the hedge-fund tycoon.
Herbalife has owned “therealbillackman.com,”
“billackman.net” and “therealackman.net” since Jan. 18, according to Go
Daddy’s database of registered domain names. So far, the sites are
should ask themselves what legitimate company would do this,” Ackman told
The Post, which exclusively reported the news on its website yesterday.
The domain names appear to
be part of a bigger Internet and social media campaign kicked off after
Ackman’s paid search-engine ad “factsaboutherbalife.com” topped Google’s
search rankings about the company.
That website details
Ackman’s case against the company, including the 300 slides that he
presented in a Dec. 20 conference presentation. The hedge-fund billionaire
announced the day before that he made a $1 billion short bet against the
company because he thinks it’s a pyramid scheme that will be shut down by
The Internet has become
more important to Herbalife in recent years as a way to promote its
sponsored link topped Ackman’s on Google. Analyst Tim Ramey of DA Davidson
said Herbalife likely paid up to be back on top of the search rankings.
Herbalife has also been paying for “promoted tweets” on Twitter.
“I’m sure they’re getting
lots of creative advice on how to control the message,” said Ramey.
Herbalife did not respond
to a request for comment.
The company may have
chosen the three domains because “billackman.com” was already taken. It
was registered by Jeff Klaips of Naperville, Ill., on Oct. 7, 2007. Klaips
is selling off the name for a steep $10,000 in an auction that ends Feb.
Ackman said he has no
interest in purchasing the domain rights to his own name.
After news of the Ackman
domain names broke yesterday, a service that allows users to register
domains anonymously purchased “therealcarlicahn.com.”
Icahn, who is believed to
have bought Herbalife shares at one point, and Ackman engaged in a
30-minute heated battle on CNBC last week, drawing the cable network’s
Herbalife shares fell 3.4
percent to $38.67.
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