According to an article on Media Week this morning, “The Guardian is set to change its numerous domain names including guardian.co.uk to theguardian.com as part of a shift to a global digital newsbrand and ongoing expansion in the US and Asia-Pacific.” This is a wise move for the company, and I am sure the acquisition of TheGuardian.com wasn’t cheap.
Up until around April 10, 2013, TheGuardian.com domain name was owned by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. The company also owns GLIC.com, and it uses GuardianLife.com for its website. I am unsure of whether the life insurance company used TheGuardian.com as an independent website or was forwarding traffic like it does with GLIC.com. I couldn’t find a sale listing for the domain name, so I assume it was a private acquisition.
On April 14, Guardian News & Media Limited became the registrant of TheGuardian.com. The company is currently forwards TheGuardian.com to GuardianNews.com. Interestingly, it appears OS Portfolio Holdings, LLC (connected with domain industry company Oversee.net) was once the registrant of GuardianNews.com back in 2011 and prior. The Greenberg Traurig, LLP law firm owned the domain name shortly after, so I don’t know if it was a private acquisition or some other deal.
Guardian.com is another branded domain name, and it’s owned by a third (and unrelated) company from Michigan called Guardian Industries.
Once again, we see that .com is the universal extension favored by brands serving multi-national markets. Interestingly, Guardian News & Media Limited is a gTLD applicant, having applied for 5 gTLD strings, although the company did withdrawn from three.