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Go Daddy buys Afternic

Kevin Murphy, September 20, 2013, Domain Registrars

Go Daddy has strengthened its already pretty strong hand in the domain name aftermarket by acquiring Afternic from NameMedia for an undisclosed sum.

Afternic provides a centralized platform for listing domains for sale. About 100 registrars, including Go Daddy, carry its six million listings.

Go Daddy also offers its own customers a Premium Listings service. Integrating the two platforms will happen “over the coming months”, Go Daddy said.

Afternic usually reports about a million dollars of domain sales via its platform every week, but those figures don’t include private sales. It already has deals in place to sell premium names for several new gTLDs.

Some of Go Daddy’s biggest competitors — existing Afternic partners — appear to be happy about the move. Go Daddy’s press release quotes Tucows and Web.com executives giving the deal the thumbs-up.

Afternic did once belong to Register.com, one of Web.com’s registrars, but for the last six years it has been owned by NameMedia.

The deal also includes SmartName, NameMedia’s parking service, but not BuyDomains, where NameMedia sells its own portfolio of names. Go Daddy will take on Afternic’s Boston-based staff.

Afternic picked to handle .buzz premium names

Afternic and NameJet have been selected by the applicant for .buzz, dotStrategy, to manage premium domain name allocation in the new gTLD.

Afternic will build the .buzz reserved names list and sell them through its marketplace, while NameJet will exclusively handle sunrise, landrush and premium name auctions, the company said in a press release.

Arkansas-based dotStrategy, which is also in a contention set for .fun, thinks .buzz will be a memorable gTLD for marketing campaigns, among other purposes.

Its .buzz application has already passed Initial Evaluation with ICANN, is uncontested and has no objections or GAC worries. The company reckons it could go to sunrise by October.

NameJet and Afternic sign another gTLD launch

Kevin Murphy, April 3, 2013, Domain Services

NameJet and Afternic will provide launch auctions and premium name distribution for the .build gTLD, should it be approved, the two companies have announced.

The deal was inked with applicant Plan Bee LLC, which is affiliated with Minardos Group, a construction company.

The two companies will handle auctions under the sunrise and landrush phases, according to a press release.

It’s the second such deal to be announced by the Afternic/Namejet partnership to date, after WhatBox’s .menu. The companies are also working with Directi’s .pw registry.

Plan Bee has also applied for .expert and .construction, but these are both contested so there’s less certainty that they’ll end up approved.

The applicant reckons it will be able to bring .build to market in the fourth quarter of this year.

With a prioritization number of 1,049 in ICANN’s queue, this may prove optimistic, depending on how the remaining portions of the program — such as predelegation testing and contracting — pan out.