United Internet Buys Lycos Domains

According to a report posted today on Data Center Knowledge, which in turn cites a Friday post on Domain Name Wire, United Internet AG (www.united-internet.com) has acquired the United Domains unit of Internet portal Lycos Europe (www.lycos-europe.com), which has been in the process of selling off certain hosting-related assets for several weeks.

United Internet will reportedly pay approximately $48 million to take on the 1.1 million domains managed by United Domains, providing customers with a smooth transition to a new provider. United Internet has plenty of experience with large-scale domain and hosting operations, being the parent company of hosting giant 1&1 Internet and domain aftermarket operator Sedo.

Domain name wire cites the RegistrarStats service, saying that 1&1 has about 4.6 million domains under management already.

Lycos Europe announced that it would be selling off and closing businesses related to domains and hosting back in November, and appears to have been working to help find those customers new homes since then.

As recently as last week, Lycos Europe was recommending German hosting company Strato (the second largest European host, behind United Internet) as a suitable substitute for its hosting customers seeking to transition their sites out of its hosting service before the company closes those operations early in 2009.

While customers might still be considering Strato, the move to United Internet (as Data Center Knowledge's Rich Miller rightly points out) is more than likely to be accompanied by an offer of a fairly inexpensive and seamless hosting service from 1&1 Internet, which might appeal more to those customers. Domain only customers would presumably have some potential relevance to Sedo's parked domains services.

According to Domain Name Wire, the transition of United Domains to United Internet is expected to be complete by the early part of 2009.

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