Companies end .online partnership, but all three will help market the domain name.
A three company partnership for the .online top level domain name has broken up, and it appears Radix will now run the domain name by itself.
A partnership between Radix, Tucows and NameCheap won the contention set auction for .online last year, reportedly paying more than $10 million for the domain name. All three parties then made capital contributions to the partnership to cover the cost of the auction and running the business.
On Tucows’ 4th quarter conference call this afternoon, CEO Elliot Noss reported that the companies decided to end the partnership based on diverging businesses. Two of the partners will receive their capital contributions back and have entered into marketing arrangements when the new TLD becomes available.
Noss noted that the partnership was formed a couple years ago and Tucows has moved its business more toward mobile services. He also noted that another partner had sold its registrar business and was now focused on being a domain registry.
That partner is, of course, Radix. Given Noss’ explanation, I gather that Radix is the company that bought out the other two and will run .online.
.Online has strong potential as a generic top level domain name. It is one of the most common words found in existing .com domain names and is the most frequently found word in domain names sold on GoDaddy’s aftermarket.