Company Attempts to Corner Online Tinnitus Market

The Corporate Partnering Institute, Chicago, yesterday bought the rights to 61 domain names related to the chronic hearing ailment tinnitus in an effort to dominate the disease category on the Internet's major search engines.

CPI, which retained name appraiser to register the domain names, will lease the sites to HEAR USA, Scottsdale, AZ, a provider of content and online shopping for people with hearing loss. The domain names were appraised at $1.7 million, about $28,000 each.

Each site will have its own theme and content, said Duke Rodriguez, HEAR USA's CEO. HEAR USA will sell sponsorships to providers of treatments, products and content related to tinnitus, which is characterized by a constant ringing in the ear. Fees will be based on sales results.

CPI is a U.S. organization dedicated to the use of partnering to generate growth. The company owns nearly 10,000 domain names related to diseases in an effort to support e-healthcare business strategies. HEAR USA has three bricks-and-mortar clinics in Arizona and specializes in sales of hearing-aid products.

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