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Web.com Buys Register.com for $135 Million

Large registrar agrees to be acquired by small business hosting and design company.

Register.comWeb hosting and design company Web.com has agreed to purchase privately held domain name registrar Register.com for $135 million. The company views domain name registration as a lead generation tool for other services such as setting up web sites and hosting, and also sees cost savings of $10 million by merging the two entities.

Register.com is one of the original higher cost domain name registrars, which has stuck to its $35-a-year pricing similar to Network Solutions. It is the tenth largest domain name registrar with 2.36 million domain names according to RegistrarStats. That places it just behind Moniker.

Register.com also owns its own portfolio of domain names that its customers let expire.

With the acquisition Web.com is also inheriting a lawsuit filed by Chinese search engine Baidu. Baidu’s account was compromised and nameservers changed, apparently due to lax security controls by one of Register.com’s employees.

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  1. George Kirikos says

    This should allow us to gain new insights, since Web.com is a public company (stock symbol WWWW). We’ll likely get a rare peek into Register.com’s financials at some point, so keep an eye on the SEC’s “EDGAR” site for new filings….

    Web.com’s market cap is only $100 million, so it’s interesting that they’re able to swallow the larger firm (will need to pile up debt to do it).

  2. Francois says

    These are exciting news, I have been closely working in the past with the marketing dept of Web.com and they are people very active.
    So I will not be surprised it will be the first step in the domain world of many more…
    Congrats for the purchase!

  3. MM says

    For half that much they could have bought the much bigger Tucows (TCX) which would have made more financial sense.

  4. Andrew Allemann says

    @mm – Tucows wouldn’t make as much sense b/c most of it is through resellers that sell their own hosting. Register.com gives them a customer base of small biz that don’t care about paying $35 (perhaps because they don’t know any better?) and make for good customers.

  5. coffee break says

    Register (now Web) does not need domainers.
    And, the larger domainers own their own registrar.

    Plus, domainers would be price sensitive whereas a small business, individual or organization would not.

    I’m impressed they could pull this off.
    Congrats. to Web.

  6. MM says

    Andrew, Tucows does have a retail unit named Hover. It is smaller than Register.com but with Tucows you certainly get more bang for the buck. However, I am impressed that Web.com’s stock price ended up positive today; that is a good sign in this case as Mr. Market seems to approve of this transaction.

  7. winnsome says

    well its a successful buy,remember customer service, its a thing of the past with all the other domain registers,but register.com has strong customer service reps. way to go web.com,hope to benefit your company

  8. lowbie-insider says

    Personally I think it’s interesting. register.com took a wrong turn when the decided “hey, we’re a Sales Organization” and put sales before the customer service. Service which is what they (we… btw) prided themselves on for years. Recently though (January) they have tried to turn that ship around and get back to being customer focused. At least this will get some new leadership in and shake some of the rust off. register.com may be old…but it wouldn’t have survived so long if it wasn’t doing something right.

  9. Jason says

    Register.com over charge their customers. I once had to pay their high fees when I knew very little about domains. I prefer Go Daddy to purchase domains.

  10. HarleyBuy says

    I have been working with Register.com for the past year and found that for a site build they were less expensive than I~Page for example. You may get a deal on the registration but as in most cases in life you get what you pay for.
    I think this will be a good deal for both companies.

    ~H

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