Domain registrar changes policy on employee bidding.
GoDaddy has changed its policy on employees bidding in TDNAM domain name auctions after a firestorm erupted last week (and over the weekend).
Domain Name Wire’s original story, which was based on a thread from NamePros and additional information from a reader, put a hot topic in the limelight. At first it was confined to the domain name industry, but over the weekend the story appeared on Slashdot, Ycombinator, and Reddit. It hit the top spot on Fark’s business page today.
GoDaddy General Counsel Christine Jones released a statement today announcing the company’s change in policy:
Go Daddy has reviewed the auction and found nothing improper.
Adam Dicker’s knowledge on the auction was no different from what any customer coming to our TDNAM site would have had.
To ensure customer confidence and to avoid any possible future questions of impropriety all GD employees are now and in the future prohibited from participating in TDNAM auctions, purchasing, sales & back orders.
For more on this story and other companies’ policies on employee bidding, see:
Expired Domain Services Let Employees Bid Against Customers
Sedo and Pool Explain Employee Policies for Bidding
For another controversy regarding expired domains, see this article at The Domains.
Elliot Silver says
How about employees’ family members?
Elliot – good question. right now I’m trying to keep my servers up so I’ll look into that later.
Another question I have for these companies, even the ones that forbid employees from bidding. Can the “company” bid? We know that many of these companies own domain portfolios, so I’m curious if the companies themselves bid on auctions. (I don’t know about GoDaddy owning domains, but we know some of the other big guys do.)
You have to give them credit for addressing this fairly quickly.
Kudos to Godaddy. Thumbs down to Tucows.
Thumbs down to Tucows for their underhanded dealings and manner in which they handled the recent “reacquisition” of domains won by auction winners. That is not how you do business. Bill Sweetman at Tucows should take note of what just happened and reverse Tucows bad moves.
Rob Sequin says
How does all this affect Adam Dicker?
Has he posted a comment anywhere?
Will he leave GoDaddy because of this or is this a non-event for him?
He is not obligated to comment anywhere or have to explain himself. I have said from the beginning that this is not about him and simply about the concept.
However, I would like to have his thoughts on this hot topic.
Steve Morales says
Well Done Andrew.
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M. Menius says
@Sequin – “How does all this affect Adam Dicker? … Will he leave GoDaddy because of this or is this a non-event for him?”
I can’t imagine that Adam , or anyone, would leave their position over something like this. For GoDaddy to take this position is understandable and ethically correct. Definitely the proper decision.
Scott Kozlowski (Koz) says
Elliot’s question is great.
I have another.
What about LLC’s or Corp’s they are involved in?
Technically they aren’t bidding as an employee of GoDaddy. But, as a partner or shareholder of another entity (whether they are minority or majority owners).
It brings up the whole question of how will they try to surreptitiously continue bidding?
Off the clock employees should be allowed to buy new names and also participate in auctions providing they are off the clock. Off the clock they are just another citizen.
So what will Go Daddy do? Police the world?
Anyone can get a gift card, activate it using any info they like and buy anything, they come in all flavors, VISA, AMEX you get the picture. All one would need to do is create a new account with new info and use a good proxy server. Besides you can’t know all the friends or relatives employees have. And its just as easy to transfer out to another registrar. There is always a work around.
Free speech my American right.
Although I agree that policing this is a challenge, this is a positive step from GoDaddy.
Almost all big companies have rules about what their employees can and cannot do. Employees aren’t always caught for breaking them, but having the threat of termination is usually good enough to stop them from doing it.
Team Angry says
As you know DNForum.com owner Adam Dicker is now Vice President of GoDaddy and was just caught doing insider trading (potentially).
Well, I have a 7 year history on Adam Dicker including a webring of Satellite Piracy, and several other things. I even have a bounced check for $50,000.00 in my hands. If you guys would like to do a story please let me know.
Good job Godaddy.
As a Godaddy customer, I appreaciate the fast response.
Kim Suni says
re: post 12, I agree with Andrew. This is the first positive step this industry has taken to clean itself up. The rest of the other companies must follow suit.
There probably was nothing improper here but eliminating employee bidding removes any chance of issues.
I think this in time will make the auctions a better place to by quality names without the fear any wrongdoings.
Good job Godaddy!
Mark S. says
Godaddy should be cheered for taking fast action. I have always regged names at Godaddy and will continue to do so.
Luc L. says
I’ve worked with Adam on various projects for the last 7 years. He has been ethical and professional in every regard. Given the black history of our industry, I understand why this particular issue raised some concern. I seriously doubt the rumors and speculation however. To say that Adam used insider “bid” knowledge to buy some mediocre $3k domain is pretty foolish. Adam has a history of buying from snap, pool, nj and tdnam for as long as those services have been around. I agree with Godaddy’s decision but strongly disagree with some of these rumors and gossip.
Good to see positive changes were made; ultimately this is good for all domain investors. On another point, I have known Adam Dicker personally and professionally for many years and find it hard to believe that he has ever been associated with anything remotely close to what I’ve read from some of the previous posts. This is a forum to promote positive change in an industry that we all care about. We should all refrain from making assumptions or launching personal attacks.