The combined entity will give more reach domain name sellers, but it also means there’s one less competitor in the marketplace.
Mergers and acquisitions in the domain name industry happen all the time. Yet one that took place in 2013 has the potential to have a big effect on domain name owners.
In September, GoDaddy acquired domain name aftermarket Afternic.
At its core, Afternic is a platform for buying and selling domain names across various websites. Yet the acquisition has a number of implications.
On the positive side, it means domain name owners will get more reach when selling their domain names. That’s especially the case for domains priced with “buy now” prices. Now, domainers will be able to seamlessly sell inventory listed on Afternic through GoDaddy’s registration path. Previously, the only way to do this was to list it on GoDaddy’s Premium Listings. The combination means domainers no longer have to choose between GoDaddy’s audience and Afternic’s network.
On the flip side, domainers will keep a close eye on what this means for competition. Having Afternic, Sedo and GoDaddy compete for domain inventory has been a good thing. It has led to more innovation. Will having one less competitor hurt competition? It’s too early to tell, but GoDaddy is already planning to terminate its existing deal with Sedo that gave Sedo listings more reach.
I’ll keep a close eye on Afternic in 2014 to see if there are any unintended/unknown consequences of the deal.