Two major registries were among the domain name businesses gobbled up in 2020.
This is the second in a series of posts about the domain name industry in 2020. Read the others here.
If you want to make a guaranteed prediction about the future of the domain name industry, just predict that there will be more consolidation.
2020 was another year of big acquisitions in the domain name business.
It started with GoDaddy (NYSE: GDDY) announcing the acquisition of Uniregistry (the registrar business, not the registry) and Frank Schilling’s domain name portfolio for something less than $200 million.
GoDaddy followed up by entering into the wholesale registry business in a big way by acquiring Neustar’s registry business for $218 million.
Donuts is acquiring Neustar’s archrival Afilias in a deal that should close by the end of the year.
CentralNic (London AIM: CNIC) continues to roll up the domain industry and has expanded its horizons to online advertising after acquiring Team Internet in 2019. It bought CodeWise for $36 million this year.
Web.com acquired New Zealand domain name registrar FreeParking after losing a planned acquisition of WebCentral, which went to Australian company 5G Networks instead.
There’s continuing consolidation among new top level domains, too. XYZ has been particularly acquisitive.
And, although it’s not technically consolidation, Clearlake Capital Group’s $3 billion acquisition of Endurance International Group (NASDAQ: EIGI) shows that private equity is still very interested in the domain name space.
Which brings us to the acquisition that didn’t happen. More on that in the next post.