A student claims to have bought the domain for Breitbart France to prevent the alt-right news website from launching in the country ahead of presidential elections in May.
Breitbart announced plans to launch sites in France and Germany in November following the success of the outlet - which is known for its anti-immigration stance and opposition to political correctness - in the US during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
Former Breitbart executive chairman Steve Bannon, who stepped down to become CEO of Trump’s campaign, is now White House chief strategist.
A 22-year-old man known only as Antonin told tech website The Verge that he has bought breitbart.fr, breitbartnews.fr and breitbartnewsnetwork.fr to limit Breitbart’s influence over the presidential elections in France.
“When I saw that they wanted to launch in France I was really afraid, because I thought it could work really well in France,” Antonin said.
“So I immediately went to [French web hosting provider] OVH and saw that the domain name was available.
“I think it’s dangerous to have an organisation that is really organised and well-funded with this kind of purpose,” Antonin added. “I think it’s really dangerous.”
Despite other domain “squatters” selling web addresses for millions, Antonin says he plans to use the website to promote organisations fighting anti-Semitism and racism.
He says no-one from Breitbart has contacted him about the domain names.
However, the student’s efforts may have been in vain - Breitbart’s bureaus in London and Jerusalem are currently hosted under URL extensions on the main website, rather than on separate domains.
For example, the website’s London bureau is found at breitbart.com/london, rather than breitbart.co.uk.
A Breitbart spokesperson told The Verge that there is “nothing to report yet” about plans to expand to Germany and France, but to check back in “a couple of months”.
The Huffington Post UK has so far been unable to reach Breitbart for comment.