Neustar pays $109 million for registry that runs .co domain name.
Domain name registry Neustar has acquired .CO Internet S.A.S and associated assets for $109 million, the company announced moments ago.
.CO Internet, which commercialized the .Co domain name starting in 2010, exited last year with an annual revenue run rate of $21 million.
The registry has over 1.6 million domain names currently registered. Registrars price .Co registrations typically 2-3 times higher than .com domain names.
.CO spends aggressively on marketing, even appearing in three Super Bowls in conjunction with domain registrar GoDaddy. In addition to getting the .Co domain name base, Neustar is getting a team that has proven itself adept at marketing. Neustar is typically known in the domain business for its technical competency rather than marketing prowess.
The .Co domain name is about to enter an interesting period where it faces additional competition from new top level domain names. At the same time, Neustar is in jeopardy of losing a lucrative telephone contract and is in search of additional revenue streams.
Neustar is already the backend registry provider for .Co and earned about $4 million in that role last year.
The acquisition does not include POP.co and Nu dot Co LLC (applicant for a handful of new TLDs).