GoDaddy picks up domains of struggling competitor

GoDaddy.com will take over 850,000 domain names issued by troubled registrar RegisterFly.com

Domain name registrar GoDaddy.com will take over more than 850,000 domain names from RegisterFly, a company involved in a dispute regarding its rights to register names.

GoDaddy.com will notify RegisterFly customers of the move and automatically switch their domains. RegisterFly customers that don't hear from GoDaddy.com can contact GoDaddy.com for support.

Afilias and VeriSign, two registries that have the most RegisterFly names, have waived fees for transferring the names, the organization that oversees the Internet's address system, Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), said.

The announcement begins to remedy a year-long dispute during which some RegisterFly customers were unable to renew their domain names. The problems began with a disagreement between the two RegisterFly owners that resulted in lawsuits and led to poor service to customers, according to ICANN, which has received high volumes of complaints from RegisterFly customers.

Throughout the dispute, a "significant" number of registrants found that their domain names expired. Many also were unable to move their domain names to another registrar, ICANN said.

ICANN intervened last year, trying to work with RegisterFly to remedy the situation but failed to convince the company to improve its service. Ultimately ICANN began proceedings to remove RegisterFly's registrar accreditation, but that process required court action, further prolonging the poor service for customers.

Two weeks ago, ICANN issued a formal notice to RegisterFly terminating its registrar accreditation as of May 31.

On Friday, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ordered RegisterFly to post on its site a notice regarding the termination of its accreditation within 48 hours. Such a notice does not appear to be posted on the site as of Tuesday and the site continues to advertise domain registration.

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