Domainz sale a "win-win" situation

The sale of registrar Domainz to Melbourne IT is being lauded as a win-win situation by those involved.

InternetNZ yesterday announced the sale of Domainz to Melbourne IT for $2 million following the decision not to own a competing registrar in the new shared registry system (SRS) model.

InternetNZ president Keith Davidson says while the society doesn't have plans for the money at the moment, next week's meeting will no doubt bring the ideas out of the woodwork.

"I think we'll have managed to spend it several times over."

Davidson believes the money should be used as a nest egg to pay for the ongoing office expenses involved in running InternetNZ.

"There's also the cost of the SRS to consider. If you look at the net figures we're still positive, but the SRS has cost us a lot of money."

Domainz CEO Derek Locke is also happy, despite losing out to Melbourne IT in the final round. Locke and his management team had put together a bid for Domainz themselves. Locke says no decision has been made on rationalising the service or closing the New Zealand office.

"There's been no push to centralise to Australia, no. If anything they seem keen to keep New Zealand going."

Locke says the Domainz brand and local office will remain intact for the foreseeable future.

"As one of the staff said, the future's never been so positive."

InternetNZ councillor Steven Heath is also upbeat about the sale.

"It's more money than I expected for it."

Heath says Melbourne IT is one of the larger registrars in the world although it is in a similar position to Domainz - a former registrar monopoly moving into a competitive world.

"They've lost around 10% [domain name registrations] last year in Australia but they're still by far the largest registrar."

Heath says Melbourne IT hosts around 73% of the .com.au names as of June this year.

"They haven't lost as many names as Domainz has over here since losing the monopoly. Australia isn't as pro-registrar as New Zealand is."

As reported yesterday (Domainz sold to Melbourne IT for $2 million), both Domainz and Melbourne IT have seen their fair share of controversy in recent years.

The sale should be finalised early in September.

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Paul Brislen

IDG New Zealand

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