In what probably came as a surprise to many observers GoDaddy has announced that they are acquiring NeuStar’s registry business.
The announcement comes quite soon after the web giant’s acquisition of Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry registrar and marketplace.
Both Neustar and GoDaddy made announcements about the acquisition last night.
So what exactly have they bought?
Neustar provides backend registry operations services to quite a few top level domains. It also owns or controls a few others:
The Neustar Registry business includes an extensive portfolio of top-level domains, including .biz, .co, .in, .nyc and .us, and supports more than 215 TLDs and approximately 12 million domains. This includes its Managed Registry Services business that provides end-to-end registry management for over 130 brand TLDs and 70 generic TLDs.
Neustar own and operate .biz, but in the case of .co and .us they’re operating the domain extensions on behalf of a government. In the case of .co that contract was only recently renewed. It had been subject to a competitive bidding process with a new consortium bidding against both Neustar (CoInternet), Centralnic and Nominet. (There’s a fairly detailed article here in Spanish) Apparently the GoDaddy deal has been in the works for the better part of a year and the announcement was delayed while waiting for the outcome of the .co contract discussions.
So Neustar will be no more, as it’ll be rebranded to GoDaddy Registry and will be headed up by Nicolai Bezsonoff, currently Senior Vice President and General Manager of Neustar’s Registry business.
GoDaddy says that they’ll be keeping their registry and registrar businesses strictly separated and according to Andrew Low Ah Kee, Chief Operating Officer of GoDaddy:
GoDaddy’s Registry and Registrar will not share any information with each other that gives (or appears to give) unfair competitive advantage.Source: Domain Name Wire
GoDaddy Registry cannot show preference to GoDaddy Registrar.
GoDaddy will set up functions inside legal and audit areas to ensure compliance.
The company will look at business performance of the Registry and Registrar separately.
The deal does not include NeuStar’s other business units, which include a range of DNS, security and marketing offerings.
It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. GoDaddy was already the gorilla in terms of domain registrations, but now that they’re going to own a nice big chunk of the registry business the pressure on other operators will increase.
There’s been a lot of consolidation in the internet infrastructure space over the last few years, which, as the industry matures, was to be expected. There are still new entrants entering the market, but to compete against the giants is becoming increasingly expensive.
Of course GoDaddy aren’t the only player in town.
Companies like Microsoft and Amazon have very deep pockets and have got big hosting operations. And of course Centralnic seems to be hellbent on acquiring more and more companies, while in the Nordic countries the likes of Miss Group are adding companies to their portfolio.
How will this impact everyone? It’s way too soon to tell, though Neustar are assuring clients that it’ll be business as usual.