Domain hosting service GoDaddy recently amassed a large chunk of premium domain names from the mobile advertising firm Marchex.
The newly minted public company said it paid Marchex $28.1 million for its domain portfolio, which consists of roughly 200,000 domain names like salsa.com, kungfu.com and the surprisingly available beijing.com.
GoDaddy will market the portfolio more aggressively than Marchex did, and will also make buying the domains a lot simpler. GoDaddy is assigning "buy now" prices to most of the domain names and listing them on the company's in-house marketplace Afternic, as well through Afternic partners.
The deal does not mean GoDaddy plans to push itself further into the domain name business. GoDaddy SVP and GM Mike McLaughlin said the company has no plans to acquire additional domain names or expiring names.
"GoDaddy views this as a unique opportunity to acquire a large group of high quality names and make them available to businesses worldwide," McLaughlin said. "These names have not been generally available to the public. This means we're able to bring more visibility and liquidity into the market for businesses everywhere."
As for Marchex, it appears that the company is getting out of the domain name business altogether. Marchex has held on to its domain portfolio for some time, but didn't focus on trying to sell them until just a few years ago when it launched the domain selling vertical Archeo. Marchex has been a public company since 2004 and began a call advertising business in 2009.
Marchex says it plans to focus on call advertising going forward.
"A significant and growing majority of the consumer engagement and sales driven by mobile advertising happens offline, such as through phone calls," said Marchex CEO Pete Christothoulou. "Narrowing our focus on this opportunity, while growing our balance sheet, strengthens our ability to continue delivering technology solutions that bring accountability to mobile advertising and transform business performance for our clients."