GoDaddy buys Afternic and SmartName from NameMedia

GoDaddy announced this week that it bought domain parking company SmartName and domain marketplace Afternic from NameMedia.  GoDaddy will apparently get business name generator NameFind as well.

This leaves NameMedia with its BuyDomains unit.  It will be interesting to watch what happens as GoDaddy absorbs these businesses.  Will they charge for domain parking with SmartName? Their own parking product charges a fee.  GoDaddy’s reputation is for up-selling and charging at least small fees for most of their services. Some domain owners dislike all of the up-sells when you go to check-out at GoDaddy; and their Super Bowl ads get mixed reviews.  The company continues to thrive, however, and these new additions will help it maintain it’s huge market share.

Afternic is based in Massachusetts and provides a marketplace for domain owners to buy and sell domains. The company lists over 5 million domain names and claims that users make more than 75 million domain searches on the site each month.

GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving stated in an interview with Domain Name Wire: “We’re making [it] really, really simple for anyone who wants to find a great domain associated with their venture, regardless of whether it’s in the aftermarket or something that’s never been claimed before.” 

Once integrated, Afternic will allow GoDaddy customers to buy millions of already registered domain. GoDaddy’s latest acquisitions are part of its strategy to improve its small business offerings, according to Elizabeth Driscoll, vice president of public relations at GoDaddy, in a PC World interview.  GoDaddys claims 12 million customers, most of which are small businesses.  Terms of the SmartName and Afternic acquisition were not disclosed.


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