KeyDrive acquires Moniker and SnapNames sells off domain marketplace, expiring domain, and registrar companies.

[Update: read this follow up story to understand what this means for customers.]

KeyDrive, which owns domain name registrar Key-Systems as well as NameDrive, has acquired SnapNames and Moniker from

Combined, KeyDrive says it is now the sixth largest ICANN accredited registrar.

Rumors about the acquisition have been swirling around DOMAINfest this week. KeyDrive has now updated its web site to confirm the acquisition.

Both SnapNames and Moniker were challenging acquisitions for SnapNames lost its most important domain registrar, Network Solutions, shortly after the acquisition in 2007. It then dealt with the so-called “halvarez” scandal where a SnapNames employee was found shill bidding in auctions.

Moniker was also a challenge, primarily because it was purchased at the peak in early 2008. paid about $24 million for the domain registrar. Although the sale price hasn’t been disclosed, you can bet it took a sizable loss on the sale.


  1. Former DS customer says

    As I said 2 weeks ago,

    “This might be the last DomainFest as we know it”

    They no longer have a larger base to spread any losses from DomainFest.

    At this point, Key is going to say they are not going to compete with DomainFest. However, I speculate they will in Europe.

    Everyone pack your bags. We are off to Europe this Fall???

  2. says

    I wonder if the new owner will fix the bugs at Moniker or just move the domains to their own registrar? Oversee never seemed to fix anything, just changed the appearance.

    • says

      My gut tells me this is a good thing. We’re talking about a registrar whose parent company has been trying to sell it for a year. Oversee is not longer trying to serve the entire lifecycle of domaining. Now KeyDrive, which already owns a registrar and parking company, seems to be trying to be that company that serves the entire lifecycle.

  3. Jp says

    On a positive note, did our domains just get offshored as they can be (although com & net, etc…. Are nexused in)?

    Also this explains why a few domains I reg’d a moniker last week ended up with Whois at key-systems. I had to log into my moniker acct to make sure they were there and I wasn’t losing my mind.

  4. Frank Spencer says

    is keydrive european?
    I would love it if it means my domains will be held by a european registrar way the U.S is going
    as long as we can keep paying in shitty dollars lol

  5. says

    I will move all my domains immediately to godaddy!!!! NOT lol….well, maybe key system can bring back customer service what was non existent after oversee acquired moniker, that would be a start…:-)

  6. Steve M says

    The next thing they should do is offer all those fine folks Oversee fired their jobs back.

    Not that they’d all accept such an offer.

  7. Former DS Customer says

    “Moniker raised my price 3bucks a domain today out of nowhere”

    Don’t walk. RUN. Transfer your domains to one of the larger registrars that still appreciates domainers. I believe Fab. has one of the better prices right now.

  8. KS Team Member says

    The price increase had nothing to do with us. Probably a legacy decision.

    We hope to bring back Moniker as a service-oriented registrar. Changes will likely take a little while, but things are looking up.

  9. Louise says

    @KS Team Member, Congrats on the acquisition. (1) Will Moniker customers stay with the Moniker control panel and (2) familiar cust svc reps like Carla, David, Glenda, Jonathan Stanfill, and Korie?

  10. says


    I’m a customer with many domains with Moniker and I would also like to say: please keep some great reps you have at Moniker.

    Best Regards,


  11. says

    What will happen with the auctions, in all the years I was with Moniker I never got any of my domains accepted in an auction. Are all these so-called auctions open to favoured insiders only?

  12. says

    I just logged into my Moniker account to ask a question in Support and got this nice message:

    Support Error
    Support Error

    Could not open the support page.

    Off to a great start.

  13. Louise says

    @RobSequin, that must have been a temporary glitch. I just logged in, and all my support tickets are there from before the site update, since last year.

    @Andrew, would you blog an article about the formality of sending an email, if domains get transferred? According to BTAPPA, Bulk Transfer After Partial Portfolio Acquisition, by the losing Registrar to Registrants, in the event of a bulk transfer, so that we at least have 15 days to transfer out? Thanx in advance.

    For the record, I have received no such email either from Moniker or from Key.

  14. says

    There was a temporary support ticket technical issue that was discovered on Sunday and fixed early Monday.

    (1) Will Moniker customers stay with the Moniker control panel and : MONIKER: Yes and there will be improvements and modifications to increase usability.

    (2) familiar cust svc reps like Carla, David, Glenda, Jonathan Stanfill, and Korie? MONIKER: Yes these Client Service reps have been retained with the acquisition and we are committed to improving the Client services experience at both Moniker and Snapnames going forward through several programs including hiring and training addition CS reps and Managers. We appreciate your patience while we complete this and welcome your feedback

    Max – Auction Selections are based solely on quality, price, and marketability to corporate buyers. We encourage you to submit names that meet the criteria outlined here:

  15. Louise says

    @John Mauriello, Good move on Key’s or Moniker’s part, keeping on board Carla, David, Glenda, Jonathan Stanfill, and Korie! According to your previous comment, Navin stays, so I am glad about that, too. Sorry if I missed anybody. How about Howard Kopp?

    Don’t forget, if the platform changes, you have to give 15 days advance notice. Thank you.

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