I received a press release this afternoon with some interesting domain industry news – Google is selling off its domain registrar business. According to the press release, “Squarespace will acquire the assets associated with the Google Domains business, which will be winding down following a transition period.”
This is surprising news to me. Google has become a top 5 domain registrar, and selling domain names to its vast base of customers seems like a pretty solid cross-sell opportunity. That said, domain names have a very low margin and it might be a high touchpoint business requiring considerable customer support.
This seems like a pretty big win for Squarespace, which already sells domain names to some of its customers. The acquisition will turn the company into a top 5 domain registrar, and it will bring on many new customers who could use its website development and management services.
From what I read, it looks like Squarespace is acquiring Google’s registrar business but not its registry business. It will be interesting to see if Google sells its registry business, too. It currently operates extensions like .App, .Dev, .New, and quite a few other extensions.