Even as the number and type of domain names continues to expand, the number of companies that control all these assets dwindles. The most recent news: Verisign has acquired the London-based, Carlyle-backed company that runs the .name top level domain. The news has not been formally announced, but Verisign, which also runs the .com, .net and .org domains, among others, sent out an email to all registrars with the news:
We are pleased to announce that VeriSign closed on an agreement to acquire Global Name Registry, Ltd., which includes management of the .name top level domain on October 1, 2008. We believe the addition of .name is a natural fit, as we have run the technical backend in support of .name for more than five years.
What does this mean for existing registrars?
Your interface to VeriSign for .name domain names will continue to operate as it has in the past with no changes.
We are currently assessing enhancements to the service offering that meet the needs of the registrar channel in servicing the consumer market. Please look for service notices in the coming weeks that will outline those changes and the steps you need to take advantage of those features.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Customer Service at email@example.com.
Very truly yours,
Vice President, Global Customer Support
The size of the transaction is not being disclosed. Other investors in the company include Northzone Ventures AS, and Verdane AS.
I worked briefly with the .name guys in 2001 (and I have also consulted to Verisign in the past), although I don’t have any financial stake in the company or this transaction.