The message reads (umlauts and other German punctuation omitted, sorry!)
Fur diese domain burden keine inhalte hinterlegt
bitte schaen Sie zu einem spateren Zeitpunk nochmal vorbie
Roughly, it says there’s nothing on the domain and to try again in a bit, I
I’m in the UK and getting this. Someone I pinged over in London is not.
Someone in the US I pinged also is not. So it might be localized and probably
will be intermittent. I’ll also check with Google on it.
Postscript Barry: Google Germany goes kaput at the Register (nice title), has word from a Google spokesperson but also from Goneo.
Goneo called us with the full story from its end. The google.de domain changed hand three times last night, a spokesman said.
A request to take over the domain was placed with Goneo about a week ago. The firm automatically placed a request with German domain registry DENIC (the equivalent of Nominet), which put the request to Google’s German provider. The provider did not respond in the first instance, and ignored a second approach from DENIC.
According to procedure, DENIC then approved the request on Monday evening. Goneo became aware of the registration, and arranged with Google and DENIC to have it transferred back.
Unfortunately, somebody else had made an application to register it too, through another domain company, which had also been ignored, so it was transferred to them first.
Google finally took possession its German digs this morning.