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GoDaddy Acquires Afternic - Primes Domain Aftermarket for New TLDs

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Sept. 19, 2013) – GoDaddy, the world’s leading domain name provider, has acquired Afternic, one of the industry’s leading domain name aftermarket companies based in Waltham, Massachusetts. The move creates an unprecedented level of domain name aftermarket inventory from one source and a frictionless marketplace – enabling buyers to purchase registered domain names offered for sale quickly and easily.

The move also bolsters ICANN’s upcoming Top Level Domains (TLD) program by fueling a more diverse aftermarket. Afternic’s Domain Listing Service (DLS) displays domain names at more than 100 different registrars – including 18 of the top-20. This gives new TLDs registries and resellers the best chance and easiest way to showcase their aftermarket domain names. As an example, instead of choosing a single registrar to sell an already registered name like Pizza.NYC – the name can be offered across the entire DLS network – giving the seller the most exposure and customers the best experience.

“Having the right domain name is vital, no matter your venture,” said GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving. “GoDaddy is working to bring the ‘domain aftermarket’ together with new registrations and make both super-simple to access. Our customers need an easy way to buy the name they want, regardless of whether it’s new or has been registered previously. This acquisition forms a registrar-led process that creates faster and more trusted transactions across the board.”

DLS gives buyers a more diverse range of results and affords sellers more exposure to customers searching for domain names. A domain name can be listed at a single registrar and also displayed across the registrar network – without any more work from the domain owner. GoDaddy plans to incorporate the DLS into its domain search results and add its aftermarket domain name inventory to the DLS in the coming months.

“The success of the new TLDs and the aftermarket relies on a tight-knit group of diverse registrars and Afternic has done tremendous work to bring everyone together,” said GoDaddy Vice President and General Manager Mike McLaughlin.

Industry partners Web.com, operator of Network Solutions and Register.com, and Tucows.com fully support GoDaddy’s new registrar-led model. "This is a terrific move by GoDaddy and a real milestone for the domain industry,” said Tucows CEO Elliot Noss. "Making it easier for customers to find, buy and manage aftermarket domain names is important. That is why GoDaddy, Tucows and other large registrars are working together for the industry and for customers."

Afternic’s Fast Transfer network completes the transaction instantly, and will leverage the full security of GoDaddy’s world-class architecture, without requiring days for a domain name to transfer or having to negotiate confusing industry regulations.

“GoDaddy's adoption and endorsement of Afternic as the standard for Fast Transfer will accelerate the growth of the domain aftermarket across the entire industry," said Afternic SVP of Business Development Bob Mountain – who will remain Afternic’s Chief Revenue Officer. “Registrars around the world are realizing that the aftermarket presents a significant opportunity for revenue growth. GoDaddy's acquisition and investment in Afternic is a win for registrars, domain owners, and customers, and will provide the necessary scale to grow the aftermarket for years to come."

“Afternic and GoDaddy share a vision for creating a unified domain aftermarket,” said Kelly Conlin, the Chairman and CEO of NameMedia, Afternic’s parent company. “By operating Afternic with the interests of the registrars and their customers first and foremost, this transaction not only fulfills this vision, but reinforces that registrars are the very best place to find all available domain names.”

GoDaddy plans to keep the Afternic staff in the Boston area. GoDaddy is also acquiring SmartName, a domain parking service, as well as NameFind, a new service for helping entrepreneurs brainstorm a brand name for their business. NameMedia will continue to operate its BuyDomains.com marketplace of proprietary domain names and its website development group. Conlin will remain Name Media’s Chairman and CEO, while also becoming a strategic advisor to the Afternic management team following the acquisition.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

To see Afternic’s inventory – visit Afternic.com. GoDaddy’s expired domain name auctions will be held at Auctions.GoDaddy.com.

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About GoDaddy GoDaddy is the world's largest domain name provider, Web hosting provider and new SSL certificate provider, focused on helping small businesses grow larger. GoDaddy provides dozens of cloud-based services and is the largest worldwide mass-market hosting provider by annual revenue according to 451 Research (Mass-Market Hosting Report-Fall 2012) and isthe #1 provider of net-new SSL certificates for 2012, according to the Netcraft, LTD Secure Server Survey. To learn more about the company, visit GoDaddy.com/PR.

About Afternic Afternic is the world’s premiere domain marketplace, listing more than five million premium domain names available for sale and receiving more than 75 million domain searches each month—more than any other domain marketplace. Founded in 1999, Afternic launched the first website where domain owners could list their domain for sale, and prospective domain buyers could review available inventory—connecting buyers and sellers of domain names for the first time and creating the industry’s first domain marketplace. Since the company’s founding, Afternic has been continuously expanding and innovating, introducing new technologies like Fast Transfer that allow a domain buyer to have immediate control of a purchased domain, and building a distribution network that now includes more than 100 partners that market Afternic’s domain listings the world over. To learn more about the company visit Afternic.com.

About GoDaddy
GoDaddy's mission is to radically shift the global economy toward small businesses by empowering people to easily start, confidently grow and successfully run their own ventures. With more than 12 million customers worldwide and approximately 58 million domain names under management, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To learn more about the company, visit www.GoDaddy.com.

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Nick Fuller, PR Director
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