With deadline looming, injunction forces Tucows to transfer domains.
A Washington State court has ordered Tucows to transfer 3.2 million .com and .net domain names to Namecheap, and an appeals court has denied (pdf) Tucow’s motion for an emergency stay.
The dispute stems from Namecheap’s termination of its reseller relationship with Enom, which Tucows (NASDAQ: TCX) acquired in January. Namecheap was a long time reseller on Enom’s platform but its exclusivity deal with Enom for .com and .net domain name registrations ended last year. This year, Namecheap requested Tucows to transfer domain names on Enom’s platform to Namecheap’s registrar credentials.
Namecheap is using its own registrar credentials for new registrations and wants to consolidate all registrations under its credentials. Between the domains registered directly with Namecheap and those on Enom’s platform, Namecheap has 8.5 million domains under management.
Namecheap’s contract with Enom allows for it to request the transfer of the domain names, but Tucows balked at Namecheap’s request this year to do the transfer through a “Bulk Transfer After Partial Portfolio Acquisition”, or BTAPPA. Namecheap already has approval from .com/.net registry Verisign to do a BTAPPA transfer of the 3.2 million .com and .net domains. Click here to continue reading…