Part-owner of NameJet acquires competing service SnapNames.
Web.com (NASDAQ: WWWW) has acquired expired domain name service and domain marketplace SnapNames from KeyDrive.
The deal will formally be announced on Monday after the closing bell, Domain Name Wire has learned. Web.com employees tweeted about the acquisition yesterday afternoon.
SnapNames ended up being a bad investment for Oversee.net. Shortly after the acquisition, Network Solutions (now part of Web.com) decided to pull its expired domain inventory from the service and partner with Demand Media on a competing service, NameJet.
It turns out Oversee.net was aware Network Solutions was going to do this prior to closing the deal, but it proceeded anyway.
Then it discovered that a SnapNames employee had been shill bidding on the site since before it made the acquisition. That inflated the price Oversee.net paid and it had to clean up the mess.
The divestiture by KeyDrive, which also owns Key-Systems and domain name parking service NameDrive, explains a confusing announcement last month that Moniker had a new CEO. Until then Craig Snyder had been CEO of both Moniker and SnapNames, yet KeyDrive’s initial press release didn’t mention Snyder was staying on as CEO of SnapNames. This makes more sense given the acquisition by Web.com.
KeyDrive has been embroiled in a lawsuit with the seller of NameDrive in a payment and performance dispute. It’s unclear if the sale of SnapNames is in any way connected.
Web.com’s acquisition of SnapNames will certainly have an effect on the NameJet partnership. It’s possible that both entities will be rolled into one — presumably more information will come to light Monday afternoon. The purchase price might also be disclosed if it’s a meaningful number for Web.com.