The American GoDaddy Registry Operating Company LLC is expanding its nTLD portfolio: for US $ 120 million (approx. EUR 101 million), 28 new domain extensions are being transferred from the Californian Minds + Machines Group Limited (MMX) to Arizona. In addition, GoDaddy will in future hold the rights to .club, design, .ally, .basketball and .rugby.
From “Web.com buys Webcentral Group” and “Donuts takes over Afilias” via “Ethos Capital swallows donuts” to GoDaddy and MMX, the wave of consolidation is sweeping unbroken over the domain name industry. On April 7th, 2021, the registry department of the world’s largest domain registrar announced that it had acquired .club, .design and 28 nTLDs from the MMX portfolio. GoDaddy puts the purchase price for the MMX TLDs at US $ 120 million as well as customary adjustments; GoDaddy did not provide any information about the price for .club and .design. The binding conclusion of the contract is still pending, among other things because MMX has to obtain the approval of its own shareholders. It is now clear which 28 nTLDs GoDaddy will take over. According to a stock exchange announcement .abogado, .adult, .bayern, .beer, .boston, .casa, .cooking, .country, .dds, .fashion, .fishing, .fit, .garden, .horse, .law,. luxe, .nrw, .miami, .porn, .rodeo, .sex, .surf, .vip, .vodka, .wedding, .work, .xxx and .yoga the MMX portfolio. This includes the company shares in MMX Bayern (.bayern), MMX China, MMX NRW (.nrw) and ICM Registry (.adult,. Porn, .sex and .xxx). Also part of the “asset deal” is the “AdultBlock verification platform”, a service from ICM Registry.
Measured in terms of pure registration numbers, .club is currently the top level domain with the greatest reach, with a little over 1.1 million domains. .Design, managed by Top Level Design LLC, is listed at around 130,000 domains. The crowd puller from the MMX portfolio is .vip with almost 900,000 domains. This is followed by .work with around 650,000 domains; the rest of the MMX domains are currently in some cases well below 100,000 domains. For MMX CEO Tony Farrow, this sale should be part of an effort to consolidate; In 2020, more than 20 percent of the workforce was cut. Colin Campbell, CEO of the .club registry CLUB Domains LLC, apparently wants to benefit from the strong increase in demand that the Clubhouse app brought to the club.
I think Clubhouse was the twerking moment for .club,
so Campbell. The number of premium domains shot up by 700 percent in January 2021. Under the direction of GoDaddy, little should change for .club for the time being:
The people that run GoDaddy Registry are Nicolai [Bezsonoff], and Lori Anne [Wardi], who were the co-founders of .co and they’ve done a good job of promoting .co and I really believe that can promote .club in a similar way,
Campbell told the blog domainincite.com.
One of the stumbling blocks of the MMX deal could be that the Internet administration ICANN has to give its consent to a registry change; the criteria for this have recently been the subject of public discussion. In addition, at least the sale of MMX China still requires the approval of the Chinese authorities. For example, .vip domains may only be offered in China because MMX China meets the applicable, often critically examined, requirements. For GoDaddy, however, there is every reason to try it: if you succeed, you will manage over 240 TLDs with over 14 million registrations in the future.
MMX’s announcement of April 8th, 2021 about the deal with GoDaddy can be found here.