GoDaddy gobbled up a competitor, and domain investors are worried.
A single acquisition rarely rises to the level of being a top annual story in our industry, but GoDaddy’s acquisition of Dan.com this year rises to that level.
For domain investors, Dan offers a simple way to sell domains without paying GoDaddy’s/Afternic’s higher commissions.
Dan charges sellers 9%, compared to 10%-20% at GoDaddy.
The company iterated quickly and was working on creating its own domain registrar this year.
Dan represented a threat to GoDaddy’s aftermarket business. Many domain investors list their domains on Afternic but point their landers to Dan to save money if buyers come directly to the lander. This siphoned off commissions from GoDaddy.
Domain investors are worried about what this might mean for commission rates in the future. GoDaddy president of domains Paul Nicks has talked about “commission alignment” between the aftermarket platforms it owns. So far, GoDaddy hasn’t made any changes. But it doesn’t make sense for there to be a difference in commissions for lander-initiated purchases at Afternic and Dan, so expect changes in the future.