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#2 in 2017: GoDaddy and Uniregistry fight over new TLD prices

This is the ninth in a series covering the top stories on DNW in 2017, as ranked by pageviews.

The #4 story in 2017 was about Frank Schilling’s capitulation on his forecast for new top level domains and his decision to drastically increase prices on many of his TLDs.

I’ve decided to separate the ensuing tiff between Schilling’s Uniregistry and GoDaddy into a separate item because of its importance, and because it represents an example of the often challenging interplay between registries and their registrar channel.

Following Uniregistry’s announcement of a price hike, GoDaddy temporarily pulled all of Uniregistry’s domains from its shelves. GoDaddy GM of Domains Mike McLaughlin said, “…The dramatic price hike Uniregistry announced left us no choice…”

Facing additional registrar backlash, Uniregistry backtracked a bit and decided to grandfather existing domain registrations at pre-hike prices. Uniregistry left it up to the registrars to handle the technical integration of the grandfathering.

GoDaddy later added Uniregistry domains back to its shelves but with very high markups. Then, in August, the company decided to pull the plug on Uniregistry indefinitely. In addition to halting new registrations and transfers, GoDaddy partnered with Hexonet to handle the backend for existing Uniregistry domain names.

GoDaddy was late to sign on to carry Uniregistry’s domains in the first place, so it wasn’t one of the top registrars for Uniregistry domains. Still, losing the world’s largest domain registrar is bad news for any registry operator.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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