I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen quite a few television spots for 1&1 on different channels and at various hours, which likely means the company is spending a lot of money on advertising. I had heard of 1&1 before, but I don’t know a whole lot about the company, aside from knowing about it’s domain registration division.
The Pennsylvania-based company is a domain registrar and web hosting company, although it seems to be promoting it’s website building tools for small businesses. I suppose once a business builds a website, it’s more likely they will become long term customers. There’s certainly more money in web hosting than in domain registrations.
I did some research to see how 1&1 ranks in terms of number of domain registrations, but I didn’t see the company listed on WebHosting.info’s top registrar list. Research led me to the 1&1 FAQ page that stated, “Schlund + Partner registers domain names for 1&1 Internet.” WebHosting.info ranks Schlund + Partner as the 5th largest domain registrar in the world, with just under 5.2 million registrations, although I don’t know if they exclusively work with 1&1 (Schlund.de forwards to 1und1.de though.
A bit more research showed me that 1&1 is related to Sedo. Both companies are owned by a German company named United Internet AG. You can see the affiliation on Sedo’s website and also on 1&1’s history page. United Internet AG also operates Mail.com. You can read about United Internet’s other brands on its corporate website.
One thing I was disappointed about given the relationship between 1&1 and Sedo was what seems to be a lack of a relationship between the two companies when searching for domain names at 1&1. When I performed a domain search using a domain name I own and have listed for sale at Sedo, there was nothing that indicated that I could visit Sedo to make an offer for the domain name. Perhaps 1&1 caters only to companies that will quickly buy unregistered domain names instead of having to wait out a negotiation process.
I am sure they’ve considered this, and it would be interesting to know why these sister companies aren’t working together in a more obvious way.