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Web.com to Cut More Network Solutions Employees

October 17, 2011Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Network Solutions, Register.comComments Off on Web.com to Cut More Network Solutions Employees

Company plans more pink slips at iconic domain registrar.

Web.com plans to fire more Network Solutions employees after it acquires the company than it previously thought.

The company, which also owns domain name registrar Register.com, originally thought it would save $30 million through efficiencies. Now it expects to save much more by “cutting senior manager posts, including Network Solutions’ chief executive, and consolidating data centres and applications”.

“There is significantly more overlap than we originally estimated, and so it’s likely going to be more headcount reduction,” CEO David Brown told Reuters.

It looks like those cuts will come from senior management and not lower level and customer service employees.


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Related posts:

  1. Network Solutions to Launch Domain Name Auction Service?
  2. Network Solutions Acquired
  3. Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Network Solutions, ICANN

Register.com Owner to Acquire Network Solutions

August 3, 2011Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Network Solutions, Register.com, web.comComments Off on Register.com Owner to Acquire Network Solutions

Register.com and Network Solutions to get married.

Two of the highest priced and oldest domain name registrars are getting married.

Web.com, which owns Register.com, will pay $405 million plus 18 million shares of Web.com stock as well as take on Network Solutions’ debt.

The cash portion of the deal will be funded with new debt: $600 million of First Lien Credit Facilities and $150 million of Second Lien Credit Facilities, as well as a $50 million revolver. The new debt will also pay off the remaining $84 million of debt from the Web.com acquisition of Register.com in 2010. After closing, the combined company will have $740 million of net debt.

Network Solutions is owned by a number of investors, primarily General Atlantic LLC.

The two domain name registrars have watched their market share suffer in favor of lower priced rivals such as Go Daddy, but have still managed to keep millions of domain names at higher prices. Typical registration prices at the registrars is about $35 per year. Their customers are less price-sensitive and often purchase full online presence packages.

The message from Web.com is clear: Register.com was a good acquisition for the company, so Network Solutions make sense as well.

I suspect we’ll see more consolidation in the registrar space over the next year.


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Related posts:

  1. Network Solutions and Register.com Slot .Co Second
  2. Network Solutions phone survey
  3. Network Solutions Acquired

Zuccarini Files Another Lawsuit, This Time Adding ICANN to the List

February 18, 2011Domaining, Domainnamewire, icann, john zuccarini, lawsuits, NameJet, Network Solutions, Policy & LawComments Off on Zuccarini Files Another Lawsuit, This Time Adding ICANN to the List

Zuccarini sues three companies for negligence.

John Zuccarini has filed another lawsuit (pdf) stemming from the sale of 14 domain names on NameJet.

In this case he counts Network Solutions, NameJet, and now ICANN as defendants.

Zuccarini owes the IRS and creditors $550,000, some of which involves a cybersquatting judgment against him.

A court-appointed receiver was holding some of his domain names to satisfy these debts, but he accidentally let some of them expire. 14 domain names were subsequently auctioned off on NameJet.

Zuccarini says Network Solutions should have placed a special lock on the domain names since they were subject to a legal action. He claims Network Solutions, NameJet, and ICANN were all negligent.

He also says Network Solutions and NameJet received unjust enrichment from the auctions.

Zuccarini filed previous lawsuits in this matter that were thrown out by a judge.

He also just filed a case in Philadelphia for motions against court receiver Michael Blacksburg.


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Related posts:

  1. Zuccarini Sues NameJet, eNom, VeriSign, and Network Solutions
  2. Zuccarini Case Against NameJet, NetSol, et al Moved to Virginia
  3. Judge Shuts Down Zuccarini Fight Against NameJet, NetSol, and VeriSign

GoDaddy.co Gets Ready and Network Solutions Piggybacks

February 6, 2011Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, go daddy, Network Solutions, super bowl commercialsComments Off on GoDaddy.co Gets Ready and Network Solutions Piggybacks

Lots of mainstream attention on domain names today.

We’re just hours away from Go Daddy’s Super Bowl commercials and a huge plug for the .co domain.

I really have no idea who the GoDaddy.co girl is. My guess is it’s not someone from Colombia, but that’s about all I have at this point.

I’m thinking that Go Daddy might not actually show who the .co girl is on the TV commercial and instead send viewers to their web site to see the revealing. This would be classic Go Daddy style to drive web traffic.

As for the non-.co Go Daddy commercial, DOMAINfest attendees like myself got to view the entire “web only” version during Bob Parson’s keynote at the event last week.

Competitor Network Solutions is piggybacking on the Go Daddy commercials by releasing a web video called “Go Granny” to spoof the Go Daddy ads. (Network Solutions’ banner ads about the “commercial” have been following me around the web all day).

While this will certainly get them some nice media attention, the video itself falls flat. I stopped watching it after 30 seconds. If you have the patience to watch all four minutes of it then perhaps you’ll get more out of it.


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Related posts:

  1. Deflecting Domain Purchase Inquiries to Network Solutions
  2. Not-so-certified offers from Network Solutions
  3. Go Daddy to Unveil First GoDaddy.CO Girl

Judge Shuts Down Zuccarini Fight Against NameJet, NetSol, and VeriSign

January 24, 2011Cybersquatting, Domaining, Domainnamewire, john zuccarini, NameJet, Network Solutions, Policy & Law, VeriSignComments Off on Judge Shuts Down Zuccarini Fight Against NameJet, NetSol, and VeriSign

Judge calls for an end to lengthy domain name battle.

United States District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema has said enough is enough in a domain name lawsuit filed by John Zuccarini.

Zuccarini filed the lawsuit after a court appointed receiver failed to renew domain names of his that were seized to settle a cybersquatting judgment. The domain names were at Network Solutions and subsequently auctioned off on NameJet when they expired. One of the domain names was bid up over $50,000, although I don’t know that the winning bidder ever paid.

Defendants NameJet, Network Solutions, and VeriSign each filed motions to dismiss that the judge granted on January 14. Zuccarini then filed an appeal on this ruling that the judge denied because he said the appeal introduced completely new arguments. Brinkema had harsh words for Zuccarini in declining his appeal.

“Zuccarini has already wasted quite enough of the parties’ and this Court’s time and resources in responding to his frivolous claims,” Brikema wrote.

Although Zuccarini can file another appeal, the judge reminded him that he “is again placed on notice that filing a frivolous appeal, or further frivolous motions on this Court, could result in the imposition of sanctions…”


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Related posts:

  1. Zuccarini Case Against NameJet, NetSol, et al Moved to Virginia
  2. Zuccarini Sues NameJet, eNom, VeriSign, and Network Solutions
  3. Court Denies Emergency Injunction for Zuccarini Domains Sold at NameJet

Network Solutions and Register.com Slot .Co Second

December 23, 2010.co, Domain Registrars, Domaining, Domainnamewire, Network Solutions, Register.comComments Off on Network Solutions and Register.com Slot .Co Second

Big registrars pushing .co as next best thing to .com.

Last month Go Daddy created quite a buzz by briefly changed its default domain name search parameter to .co.

Although Go Daddy and its competitors continue to offer .com first, two large retail domain registrars are making a significant push to get customers to register .co.

Both Network Solutions and Register.com are promoting .com as a second choice to .co, with Network Solutions even promoting .co above other domain extensions you’ve selected.

Here’s a screenshot from Network Solutions. I searched for xyzdomain and selected the default .com and .net TLDs. .Com is unavailable, but Network Solutions slots (and auto selects) .co along with .net, even placing it ahead of the available .net.

If the .com is available, Network Solutions still slots .co as number two but doesn’t auto select it.

At Register.com .co is called out as an alternative whenever your .com isn’t available. The site pitches the domain as an alternative to .com, saying .co is short for “company”. Alternative TLDs are far down the page:


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Related posts:

  1. Not-so-certified offers from Network Solutions
  2. Network Solutions Acquired
  3. Network Solutions phone survey

Zuccarini Case Against NameJet, NetSol, et al Moved to Virginia

November 23, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, eNom, NameJet, Network Solutions, Policy & Law, VeriSignComments Off on Zuccarini Case Against NameJet, NetSol, et al Moved to Virginia

Court transfers lawsuit to Virginia.

In a move that may have been expected by some observers, John Zuccarini’s lawsuit against NameJet, Network Solutions, eNom, and VeriSign has been transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia.

The case stems from some of John Zuccarini’s domain names that were transferred to a receiver after a cybersquatting judgment against him. The receiver let some of the domain names expire and they were subsequently auctioned off on NameJet.

eNom and Network Solutions asked the court to dismiss the case based on improper jurisdiction. Zuccarini had agreed to contracts with “forum selection clauses” when he registered the domain names. The court determined that the case should not be dismissed outright as the defendants wished, but instead should be transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia (pdf).

This move was not entirely unexpected. When the case was filed, domain name attorney John Berryhill (who is not involved in the case) commented on Domain Name Wire: “Venue Fail. He is in the District of Southern Florida alleging breach of contract, when the contract specifies that disputes are to be brought in Virginia.”


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Related posts:

  1. Zuccarini Sues NameJet, eNom, VeriSign, and Network Solutions
  2. Court Denies Emergency Injunction for Zuccarini Domains Sold at NameJet
  3. Zuccarini Responds in Domain Case, Says Assignee is Lying

Demand Media S-1 Discloses Details of NameJet Deals with Tucows, Others

August 9, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, Expired Domains, NameJet, Network Solutions, TucowsComments Off on Demand Media S-1 Discloses Details of NameJet Deals with Tucows, Others

IPO filing discloses financial deals for expired domain names.

Demand Media’s S-1 filing last Friday revealed a bit about the company’s expired domain deals, although it doesn’t refer to its partners directly by name. NameJet has deals with Network Solutions (with whom it co-owns NameJet) and Tucows. It probably has deals with other companies as well.

Here’s one of the statements (dollars are in thousands):

On February 9, 2009, the Company entered into an agreement with an unrelated party to purchase $1,000 of website names and to manage certain expired website names owned and operated by the customer in exchange for a revenue share (the “Domain Name Asset Purchase Agreement”). The Domain Name Asset Purchase Agreement expires in August 2010 and is renewable upon mutual agreement for an additional twelve-month period. In conjunction with the Domain Asset Purchase Agreement and beginning in June 2009, the Company also committed to purchase at least $300 of expired website names every sixty-day period or a total of $1,800 over the thirty-month contractual period. The contract can be terminated by either the Company or the counter party within 30 days prior to the end of each annual renewal period. The aggregate value of expired website names purchased by the Company from inception through December 31, 2009 and during the six-month period ended June 30, 2010 was $1,184 and $622 (unaudited).

This “unrelated party” is Tucows. On February 9, 2009, Tucows announced an expired domain deal with NameJet. On February 20, 2010 Tucows reported a bulk sale of about 2,500 domain names for $1M and entered into an agreement to sell up to $1.8 million over the next 18 months.

The S-1 also refers to another agreement:

On February 14, 2008, the Company entered into a three-year contract with an existing customer to manage certain expired website names owned and operated by the customer, as amended (the “Amended Domain Agreement”). Under the Amended Domain Agreement: (i) the Company manages its customer’s revenues and sales of its website names in exchange for a revenue share; (ii) the Company committed to provide the customer with a minimum of $1,750 of revenues per year (the “Annual Guarantee”) for a total of $5,250 over the three year contractual period and (iii) in the event annual revenues generated under the Amended Domain Agreement are less than the Annual Guarantee (as defined), the Company is able to satisfy the difference through the purchase of the customer’s then existing website names (as defined). The Amended Domain Agreement can be terminated without penalty by either the Company or the customer within 60 days prior to the end of each annual renewal period.

Gross revenues generated through the sale and management of the customer’s website names revenues was $332 and $349 during the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2009, respectively. The remaining Annual Guarantee for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2009 was satisfied through the purchase of website names for the Company’s own use in April 2009 and March 2010, respectively.

This second one is a bit more perplexing. NameJet was formed with a deal with Network Solutions back in 2007. But this doesn’t sound like a deal with Network Solutions. Any thoughts?


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Related posts:

  1. Tucows Inks Expired Domains Deal with NameJet
  2. Tucows Signs Up To $1.8M Expired Domain Name Deal
  3. Tucows Sells $1M Domain Name Portfolio; Domain Parking Flat

Woops! Court Appointed Receiver Lets Zuccarini Domains Expire, Auctioned Off on NameJet

June 4, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, injunction, lawsuits, NameJet, Network Solutions, Policy & Law, zuccariniComments Off on Woops! Court Appointed Receiver Lets Zuccarini Domains Expire, Auctioned Off on NameJet

Domains that were part of legal judgment are accidentally auctioned off.

Congratulations Michael Berkens, you’ve just uncovered a big mess by accident.

On May 25, Berkens wrote about the auctioning off of GovermentGrants.com on NameJet for $53,022. The story also mentions other expired domains that sold on NameJet at the same time, such as USGoverment.com for $4,950, GovermentGrant.com for $3,950, GovermentAuction.com for $2,750, and GovermentAuctions.com $2,500.

But there’s a problem. These domain names were part of the estate of John Zuccarini. Office Depot won a cybersquatting judgment against Zuccarini and later assigned its rights under the judgment to DS Holdings. DS Holdings was to recover part of the penalties against Zuccarini by selling the domain names. The court appointed a receiver, Michael Blacksburg, to hold onto the domains during the lengthy court process. But Blacksburg appears to have dropped the ball and let the domain names expire!

Since the domain names were at Network Solutions, they were automatically sent to auction at NameJet, where just the domains sold on one day topped $65,000 combined. The domains include:

govermentgrants.com
usgoverment.com
govermentgrant.com
govermentauction.com
govermentauctions.com
floridagovernment.com
californiagovernment.com
britian.com
greatbritian.com
dictionarys.com
perscriptiondrugs.com
wresteling.com
wrestleing.com
emailadresses.com

Now the court is being asked for an emergency injunction to lock down the domains. That could be a headache for the new owners of these domain names who bought them on NameJet.

I called Blacksburg yesterday and left a message for comment but he hasn’t responded.

You can read the court filings here (pdf, pdf), which includes as Exhibit A Berkens blog post.


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Related posts:

  1. Receiver Fail: Network Solutions Responds to Expired Domains Sold on NameJet
  2. Tucows Inks Expired Domains Deal with NameJet
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How Network Solutions Notifies Customers about Expiring Domain Names

February 2, 2010Domaining, Domainnamewire, expired domain names, Expired Domains, Network SolutionsComments Off on How Network Solutions Notifies Customers about Expiring Domain Names

Registrar explains its expiration notification policy.

A lot of times domain name registrars get the blame when their customers forget to renew domain names. “I didn’t get the notice” is a common line.

Of course, you can easily say the opposite. Really, how many emails does GoDaddy need to send me about my expiring domain names? It may seem like they trip all over themselves to get you to renew domain names. And that’s exactly the point.

In the wake South African Airways forgetting to renew its domain name, Network Solutions has penned a blog post about why it pesters customers to renew. It explains its notifications:

We start sending domain renewal notices 75 days from the expiration date, then again on day 45, day 20 and day 10. If we get a bounce back from the email address that’s on file on day 20, then we send a written notice to the registrant’s physical address on file.

Sending postal mail based on a bounce back is great — and something most registrars don’t do.

In the case of South African Airways, it appears their outsourced technical team was actually the group to drop the ball. The email address in whois is dns(at)itnt.co.za, which is a South African web company.

ICANN has been looking into how domain names expire. My message has always been that more notifications to registrants aren’t necessary. The reason valuable domain names expire is because the registrant has incorrect contact information. More bounced emails won’t solve that problem.


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Related posts:

  1. Network Solutions Displays Customers’ Whois Queries to the Public
  2. Tucows Leaps Network Solutions in Domain Name Registrations
  3. Network Solutions Fights for Domain Owners in Kentucky