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April 09, 2020

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Here's the The Lowdown from DN Journal,
updated daily
to fill you in on the latest buzz going around the domain name industry. 

The Lowdown is compiled by DN Journal Editor & Publisher Ron Jackson.

GoDaddy's Acquisition of Neustar Registry Operations Gives Them .Biz, .CO, a Role in Running Over 200 TLDs and a Chance to Jump Start .US

Less than two months after acquiring Uniregistry's registrar & market and Founder  Frank Schilling's massive domain portfolio, industry giant GoDaddy has made another monster acquisition. Late Monday (April 6, 2020), the company announced it has Neustar Inc's Registry business, including the Neustar owned .biz registry, the rights to administer several major ccTLDs, including .CO 


and .US and the contract to provide backend operations for over 200 hundred others, including new TLDs like .club. In all The Neustar registry business includes approximately 12 million domains across some 215 TLDs. 

Nicolai Bezsonoff

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed and it will still have to pass regulatory muster, however the the deal is expected to close in this quarter (2Q-2020).

Under GoDaddy, the previous Neustar assets will be called GoDaddy Registry and will be led by Nicolai Bezsonoff, currently Senior Vice President and General Manager of Neustar's Registry business. Mr. Bezsonoff said, "Our team is thrilled to join the GoDaddy family. We share a strong history of partnership and collaboration with GoDaddy that spans two decades. Additionally, we have the same values, a common culture of innovation, and a mutual vision for empowering individuals, businesses and brands to succeed online."

GoDaddy Chief Operating Officer Andrew Low Ah Kee added, "GoDaddy is committed to helping everyday entrepreneurs bring their ideas online with the best possible domain name choices.  Neustar's registry platform enables us to accelerate that commitment and provides enhanced scalability for future growth. For more than two decades, GoDaddy has used its consumer insight to drive innovation in the domain industry and we'll continue to do so by creating more choice and value for consumers."

As part of the transaction, GoDaddy, the world's biggest domain registrar, said it will strictly adhere to a governance model that maintains independence between the GoDaddy registry and registrar businesses. 

Personally, I will be especially interested in seeing how the .US registry fares when  GoDaddy takes control. Many in the .US camp have felt America's country code never got the promotion it deserved from Neustar who has administered the TLD since 2001 under a contract with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) of the United States Department of Commerce. Back in 2007, when the contract came up for renewal, GoDaddy tried to get it but the NTIA chose to leave .US  with Neustar (and did so again in 2014). That disappointed those .US 


fans who felt GoDaddy's marketing prowess could give the TLD a new lease on life. Now, if this deal is approved, we will get to see first hand whether or not .US can blossom under new management and flourish in the way many other ccTLDs have in recent years, including repurposed extensions like .co, .io and .ai and long established favorites like Germany's .de and Great Britain's .uk

(Posted April 7, 2020)

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