Some serious charges have been lodged against Go Daddy regarding alleged domain name frontrunning, and because the person who wrote the article didn’t mention the domain name in question, it’s impossible to see what really happened. Mike Berkens also posted an article following up on a Bill Hartzer article.
I reached out to GoDaddy to see if the company could respond to the allegation, and I received a statement from Rich Merdinger, Vice President of Product Development – Domains at the company:
“Go Daddy does not and never has participated in domain name “front-running” – the act of registering domain names after a registration search is done.”
There are a few things that could have caused the person who made the allegation to think something was amiss at GoDaddy. Perhaps he entered the wrong domain name (ie a typo) which was available, and upon trying to register the actual name, it was unavailable. Another reason could have been that someone else registered the same domain name after he showed it was available. There are other possibilities as well.
One thing is pretty clear though. An allegation without mentioning the domain name is not fair to Go Daddy, and it’s probably damaging as well. In 2008, Network Solutions was heavily criticized when front running was revealed, and the company ceased the practice shortly thereafter. A class action lawsuit was reportedly filed in response.
I hope the person who made the accusation provides more information so that we can all see for ourselves what happened.