Yahoo! keeps Melbourne IT in domain game

Australian domain-name supplier Melbourne IT Ltd. is recovering from its rocky ride last year and received a further boost this week as Yahoo! Inc. joined its reseller entourage.

Melbourne IT has been enlisted to provide the registration of .com, .net and .org tags to the Yahoo!'s worldwide users. The Internet services company is arguably the best known portal globally and has grown its offering to include a full suite of business services including Web site services, servers and a personal address feature for e-mail.

While Yahoo! would not comment on the specific terms of the agreement, nor reveal how many domain registrations it expected to generate, it is currently selling the .com, .net and .org tags on its Web site for US$35 retail. Melbourne IT pays US$6 of this to the global domain-name registry and the rest is profit margin, according to Andrew Field, Melbourne IT's CFO.

Field says the recent agreement unleashes a barrage of opportunities. "Yahoo! is the premium Web site in Japan and Korea and as we come up to speed with multilingual and non-English character sets we'll be able to take on these county's (prefixes)," he says.

Bolstered by the Yahoo! brand, Melbourne IT has plans to court portals in other countries. "Yahoo! is synonymous with the Internet, and we believe the credibility associated with the Yahoo! brand will increase our domain-name registrations and strengthen our position in the market," said Adrian Kloeden, Melbourne IT's CEO.

Melbourne IT stole the Yahoo! domain-name contract from Verisign amidst fierce competition. Verisign is predicting to sign 8 million new domain names in the next year giving some indication of the overall market potential, however, Field says the domain-name sector is experiencing severe consolidation. Of the 67 that currently operate worldwide the top five are pulling distinctly in front, while less competitive entities fall by the wayside, he says.

Story courtesy of Australian Resller News: http://www.arnnet.com.au/

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