Source: MarketWatch 1/30/2013

Herbalife Registers Ackman Domain Names

January 30, 2013 -- Apparently, the domain name billackmanisabigmeanie.com is still available.

But, as reported by Bloomberg, Herbalife has registered website domain names such as threalbillackman.com and billackman.net, signalling the increasingly personal brawl fostered by hedge-fund manager Bill Ackman's short bet against the nutrition company isn't likely to get any nicer.

Ackman, who runs Pershing Square Capital Management, accused the company of operating a pyramid scheme in December, announcing a huge short position against Herbalife shares. Herbalife shares tanked but have since rebounded, rising more than 17% since the beginning of the year.

Ackman, at the time, launched his own website, called factsaboutherbalife.com.

Herbalife has fought back, denying that its multi-level marketing program is a pyramid scheme and accusing Ackmann of distorting its business model.

The battle has attracted other heavyweights from the investing world. Setting up a showdown of hedge-fund titans, Third Point's Dan Loeb weighed in earlier this month to take an 8.2% stake in Herbalife.

Then last week things got, well, if not interesting at least weird, as Ackman squared off with fellow billionaire Carl Icahn in an on-air verbal throwdown on CNBC after Icahn criticized Pershing Square for publicly touting its short position.

Icahn called Ackman a "crybaby," while Ackman called Icahn a "liar" and a hypocrite.

For his part, Ackman took exception to Herbalife's domain-name move, telling Bloomberg: "What legitimate company would do something like that. The spotlight is on Herbalife and they are doing everything they can do to turn it away."

- William L. Watts

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