Tag Archives: GoDaddy

GoDaddy Consolidation of Domain Monster into 123-Reg

It would seem since GoDaddy acquired Host Europe for £1,500,000,000 (1.8 BILLION dollars) they are consolidating their brands, starting with DomainMonster. The list of companies under HEG (Host Europe Group) is considerable, it includes Webfusion, Domain Monster, Domain Box, 123-Reg, Heart Internet, Domain Factory and recently the Paragon Internet Group which includes hosting companies such as TSO Host, VidaHost and HostRoute, and a few more brands too. 

DomainMonster Consolidation

DomainMonster Consolidation

I received an email from DomainMonster aka Host Europe aka GoDaddy which says:

“We wanted to give you an update on the plans for DomainMonster since our last notification in April.”, it continues “As a customer of Domain Monster, you still retain your domains, products and services through Domain Monster, as well the login to your control panel and the ability to purchase additional domains.”.

“We are, however, no longer accepting new customers to join Domain Monster. We are working on plans to migrate your products and services through to 123-reg, and will update you with further information as work moves forward.”.

There is one line which really made me giggle, it almost clearly says you should expect the same crap services that the other customers of 123-Reg must endure.

It continues “Until that time, you are still a DomainMonster customer, with the same systems and teams in place, providing the products and services you use.”.  If ever there were a time to jump ship as a domain monster customer, NOW is that time. 

123-Reg Suck

I have very strong views about 123-Reg, where I am happy to call them dishonest and inept, the long story cut short. I paid to register a considerable number of domains via 123-reg before I got my own Nominet tag. I paid my money, the domains was in my 123-reg control panel. I carried on registering dozens of names over a month or so. One day I found a buyer for one of my domains (A girls first name), I went to check the name and found despite it being in my control panel on 123-reg, it was registered to a different 123-reg customer a few days after I registered it.

I checked my invoices, I had paid for it, and it had been added to my control, but 1 or 2 days later someone else had registered the same domain with 123-reg. 123-Reg tried to blame is on me, saying my address details were incorrect, but I pointed out I had 100+ domains using the same details and they were ok. They tried to blame Nominet who refuted it and said my details were acceptable, so they basically just lied repeatedly to cover up the fact they screwed up. At the time there were loads of people talking about delays in registration and names not being registered at all with 123-reg but they never acknowledged it. 

I went through my domains, and found roughly 5-10% of those I had paid for and registered were either unregistered or had been registered to someone else at a later date and 123-reg never fully refunded me. 

Stand and Deliver, Your Domain or Your Life!

This is certainly a first and maybe a sign of the times when the world of olde meets the modern world. A man armed with a gun, forced himself into some ones home who owned a particularly valuable domain name. The raider held the domainer at gun point, forced him to log in to his registrars control panel before attempting to make him transfer the domain name to a unknown third party. 


Long ago, Stand and Deliver, Your Money or Your Life was a staple of notorious highwayman Dick Turpin. I guess in modern times money could be gold, flashy car, mobile phones and these days recent additions include BitCoins and crypto-currency. Now it it seems common criminals have recognise the growing value in premium domain names.

Sherman Hopkins, 43 broke in to a house in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the USA armed with a Gun. Instead of stealing Jewellery, Flat screen TV or a car. Instead Hopkins held 26 year old, ex-godaddy employee Ethan Deyo at gunpoint and attempted to steal an as yet not revealed by the police domain. 

A report in TheRegister says a reverse domain search revealed no valuable domains but did uncover the potential for domains to be protected by privacy which means someone, some how knew they owned a valuable domain protected by a privacy service. My guess is, this unknown third party is the someone who some how knew, it will be interesting to see what this domain is when its finally released. I mean this a domain that someone valued high enough to break and enter, hold at gun point and kidnap a man to obtain. 

Sherman Hopkins will be spending a long time in prison, for First Degree Robbery, First Degree Burglary and First Degree Kidnapping and won’t be a pretty prison either given the rap sheet. 

Tata Group Want to Get .TATA ccTLD

Tata - Oasis Sagrado by Tomas Paz

Tata – Oasis Sagrado by Tomas Paz

This is an interesting story, I have heard of companies being bought to acquire domains, cars to get number plates, people hired to consult to obtain twitter handles but this is a little different. Its not the first time a cash injection has “helped” a country or nation to hand control of its ccTLD over to a private entity, nor is it even the first time someones bought a school to get a domain name but its still unique.

Tuvalu .TV ccTLD

I think the first were the tiny island Tuvalu who “leased” the rights for .TV (Country Code TLD) to a Verisign Company (dotTV) in return for a $50,000,000 advanced payment followed by $1,000,000 a year in a 12 yr deal.  Some other sources omit the $50m and suggest its just $1m a year for 12 years. The details are somewhat varied, what is clear is, they gain 10% of their countries total income from .TV domains and its sorely needed. There were lots of discontent from the government of Tuvalu over the deal, more information here. According to Wikipedia, this has been resolved and they are now paid approx $1,000,000 per quarter. Which would account for close to 25% of their GDP.

.BAR cityTLD

.Bar .Rest .Cafe Logos

.Bar .Rest .Cafe Logos

A few years ago a company called Punto 2012 successfully invested $100,000 in a small Montenegreo city in return for said country releasing its hold on the .BAR ccTLD. Which is now available for bobs.bar or newyork.bar domains to be registered like any other.

As of the time of this article there were 6,256 domains in the .BAR registry, with an average sale price of £50/$65 a pop, giving it $407,000 per year in registrations according to NameStat. The $100k is being paid yearly at a rate of $10,000 a pop to fund a school until 2024. I would assume come 2024, this number could either sky rocket or plunge depending on the success of .BAR. Currently I would say its going to increase somewhat perhaps fund multiple schools.  More from Register.BAR here.

Something along these lines were done in 2014, before .BAR. GoDaddy who using the Laos country code extension which is .LA rebranded it as “.LosAngeles” for LA based businesses.

.TATA cTLD and The TATA Group

The .TATA TLD is a little different to the other examples. The Tata Group are a private corp with $108,000,000,000 revenue, yeah 108 BILLION, so very deep pockets. They are not looking to assume control over .tata an then start selling first/second level domain under it like .TV and .BAR have. Instead its going to be I assume much like .BARCLAYS or .BBC used for company emails and websites.

Tata Logo

Tata Logo

Looking at the list of TATA Associated Companies, its extensive even in the UK with Jaguar, Land Rover, Tetleys Tea, Fiat and Daewoo all in the list. dotTATA as far as I know is is Moroccan, and presumably a quite poor area, so I suspect a huge chunk of change shall change hands in exchange for the release of .TATA, perhaps even bigger than .TV  depending how badly Tata Group want it.

What else is interesting is, that TATA apparently produced a letter of release from Morocco in 2014 only for the Moroccan Digital Minster to basically discredit the claim. I get the feeling this will cost them dearly, on the assumption it were not genuine.

Its been suggested that much like Punto 2012, they invest… erm sponsor…erm build and sponsor some (a tonne of) schools in Morocco, and this would certainly open up lots of doorways.

Personally, if it were me and I’d be signing my homes peoples right to own a .town/city I’d want to wrangle as much money as possible. If my people were able to register their names still like in the case of .BAR or .LA, I’d just want a cheaper wholesale rate for residents or something as well as a bung.

I had a google search of Tata, Morocco and its a stunning place, one particular Oasis (pictured above) looks so beautiful. Thomas Paz who’s image I borrowed, has some amazing photos all over Morocco, seems he’s a cyclist. Check them out on Tomas Paz’s Wikiloc page.

It may just set a precedent for all the deep pocketed companies to simply buy it from the poorer countries/cities. If the countries/cities are happy and the deal is renegotiated/tendered from time to time, I guess its all good.