Interesting: knew Network Solutions was leaving before it bought SnapNames

Company knew it would lose Network Solutions’ expired domain inventory when it bought SnapNames.

Shortly after acquired expired domain platform SnapNames in 2007, Network Solutions pulled its inventory from the service in order to team up with Demand Media on competitor NameJet.

A commonly held assumption is that had overlooked a change-in-control term (or underestimated the risk of it) when it did its due diligence on acquiring SnapNames. In fact, I gave’s due diligence team a “domain dunce” award in 2009.

But perhaps I should give myself a domain dunce award on this one. Because that assumption was wrong.

In testimony related to the Monte Cahn lawsuit against, former Oversee CEO Jeff Kupietzky explains that was fully aware of Network Solutions exiting before it concluded the deal:

Lawyer: Well, you’d already been burned on the SnapNames transaction at that point in time, hadn’t you?

Kupietzky: I wouldn’t necessarily characterize it that way.

Lawyer: Well, you’d already lost the Network Solutions account?

Kupietzky: The Network Solutions was not a diligence thing. And just to be clear, because I testified about this earlier, Mr. Ng made a decision knowing that they were going to pull, to carry on the transaction even though the transaction had a term component that would have allowed him not to.

“Mr. Ng” refers to founder Lawrence Ng.

Network Solutions has some of the best expiring domain inventory because it is the oldest registrar. The inventory instantly made NameJet a force to be reckoned with in the expired domain business. It was a big blow to SnapNames.

If losing Network Solutions wasn’t priced in to the transaction, then I’m surprised went through with the deal. But I don’t want to make any more assumptions about that.

Of course the most painful due diligence failure in the transaction was Nelson Brady’s insider bidding.


  1. says


    Don’t beat yourself up too much.

    I’m not lawyer but this… “I testified about this earlier, Mr. Ng made a decision knowing that they were going to pull” sounds like hearsay.

    Was Kupietzky even at Oversee when the company bought Snapnames?

  2. steve says

    Its the old we f;d up bad but not to look like morons we will all lie about it.

    My friend just got in a spot where the manager screwed everything to hell and blamed my friend. The execs couldn;t look bad for hiring this stupid manager so they backed the manager. My friend demanded the tapes as proof and they told him they lost them.

    I mean you can tell them I think they are full of sh*t. And they are basically a non player in the game anymore.

  3. says

    OT, Andrew: I keep seeing the “shareshareshareshare” thing after your blog post, both Chrome and IE. It shows on the front and single pages.

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