Google’s Alphabet is getting out of the domain registrar business almost a decade after the search giant makes its foray into the space. Today, Alphabet announced the unexpected revelation that it is shutting down Google Domains, a business that acts as Google’s domain name registrant.
In a separate announcement, the well-known website builder Squarespace also confirmed the report, confirming that it had acquired Google Domains for $180 million, with loans from JPMorgan Chase covering some of the costs according to Bloomberg. The third quarter is expected to be the last for the acquisition of a deal, subject to the customary closing conditions.
Google didn’t intend to expand Domains to a pool of 26 countries until 2022, but it has abruptly decided to stop the experiment after just over a year. Google will discontinue its domain registry and hosting business after an unspecified transition period, subject to regulatory approval, according to a statement from Squarespace. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter of the current year, and starting in 2024, Squarespace will take over the management of the key Google Domains services.
Google Domains customers don’t need to do anything yet
The assets, according to the statement, “10 million domains hosted on Google Domains spread across millions of customers,” which confirms the Bloomberg News report.
“We are exceptionally proud to be chosen to serve the customers of the Google Domains business,” Anthony Casalena, founder and CEO of Squarespace, stated in the statement “Domains are a critical part of every business’s online presence and an essential part of the web infrastructure.
According to Squarespace, it will continue to honor Google Domains customers’ renewal prices for a minimum of 12 months after the deal is finalized. In addition, Squarespace will take over as the sole domain provider for customers who buy a domain from Google in addition to their Workspace subscription according to the statement. With the help of the Google Domains team, it is intended to ensure a seamless transition for customers.
“Supporting a smooth transition for customers over the coming months, with the help of the Google Domains team, is our top priority,” Matt Madrigal, vice president and general manager of merchant shopping at Google, said in the statement. Squarespace can provide an integrated experience of purchasing and managing domains along with offering other tools that these customers may need to build their online presence.”
A minimum three-year commitment is required for customers purchasing a domain name together with their Workspace subscription directly from Google; as a result of the deal, Squarespace will take on the role of the exclusive domain name provider.
It’s important to note that Squarespace manages millions of domains and is a domain registrar. Approximately 850,000 of these domain names are.com domains and some of them are sold by resellers, according to an ICANN report.