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12|11|2009 02:35 am EDT

Dark Blue Sea Directors Resign As Photon Group Takes Majority Ownership

by Adam Strong in Categories: Acquisitions

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Dark Blue SeDark Blue Seaa [DBS:AX] and Photon Group [PGA:AX] announced today that several DBS board members have resigned.  The director resignations come from Richard Moore, former CEO and most recently Executive Director, Vernon Wills, Chairman of the Board and Joseph Ganim, Director.  Duncan Cornish has also resigned as DBS Secretary.

Photon Group now holds 80.2% interest in shares of  DBS following recent acceptances of the takeover offers. DBS directors had issued a statement confirming their willingness to accept the offer and recommending shareholder acceptance on November 29th.  The takeover offer closes on December 14th.

11|25|2009 10:34 am EDT Appoints Dan Warner as CEO

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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Dan WarnterThis morning, the company that has launched their new services at the Targeted TRAFFIC show in New York, announced that they have appointed Dan Warner as their CEO. Dan Warner was last COO of Dark Blue Sea (ASX:DBS), parent company of and left that position in April.

“Dan Warner was the Board’s first choice for this position. He is the perfect leader for”, said Anoop Polavaram from the Ashmore Group, “His extensive experience and recognized leadership within the domain industry will be invaluable to the business. He is undoubtedly one of the most influential people in the industry.”

“I was looking for a challenge where I could manage growth and innovation in the Internet industry.  This was difficult to find in a market which has recently focused on reducing head counts, research and infrastructure.  Both Directi and Ashmore have a great reputation and substantial resources. When I was approached by them, I realized the potential of this business. I am thrilled about the opportunity,”  said Dan Warner. “We will be doing the exact opposite of most domain companies. Significant capital, human resources and infrastructure will be used to accelerate internet advertising innovation and design. We expect that many of the other players in the industry will look like they are standing still or going backwards in comparison to our scheduled advancements.”

The press release goes on to say:

Warner has already assumed his role as CEO and is planning to fully launch the business by Jan 2010. Warner leads an initial dedicated team of over 30 people with access to over 500 people as required within the Directi group. Under Warner’s leadership, will focus on advancements in research, innovation and optimization to benefit professional domain owners.

10|26|2009 08:43 am EDT

Godaddy Lowers Commissions and Removes Caps on Premium Domain Listings

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Aftermarket

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GoDaddy LogoDomain name registrar Godaddy made three major changes to their Premium Listings service last week.  First, the percentage that Godaddy charges for these listings has been reduced to a flat fee of 30% across the board and secondly, the cap on domain name prices sold on the Premium Listings has been lifted.  Lastly, Godaddy has also lifted the previous ban it had placed on selling adult, gambling and potentially infringing domains.

Previously Godaddy gave users a choice in commissions with the minimum commission of 32% . In theory a seller selecting a higher commission would give the domain more “exposure”.  The Premium Listings also capped the domains that could be sold at $5000 and lower.

Godaddy’s Premium Listings is a simple way for domain owners who have names registered at Godaddy to put their domains in front of the people who are searching for those names.  Names listed with Godaddy’s Premium Listings show up when a user searches for an “exact match” domain name from the home page, in the Premium Domains tab on search results, when a domain search is “spun” and in whois results for the specific domain.

Domain Name Wire pointed out that “every time someone searches for a domain you own, they could get a message that the domain is available for purchase. They can then add it to their cart, checkout, and get the domain instantly.”

Premium Listings is currently reserved only for domains registered with Godaddy but DNN suspects that any success with this program could lead to an expansion which would make it available to domain owners at other registrars. Godaddy has a partnership with Fabulous already which includes Fabulous domains within these “exact match” listings. Buydomains listings also are currently appearing within these same “exact match” searches.

10|06|2009 03:14 am EDT and’s Domain Distribution Network Working Together Again

by Adam Strong in Categories: Domain Sales

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DDN logo

With the announcement of Photon Group’s take-over move, Dark Blue Sea (ASX:DBS), parent company of and Domain Distribution Network (DDN) has seen it’s share of headline news in the domain space this week.  DBS announced today, in an investors release (PDF), that they have entered in to a new agreement with Godaddy to market the DBS domain portfolio.

No specific details about the new agreement were released in the statement.  DBS and Godaddy started a 5 year agreement in 2008 whereby DBS was able to market their domains through Godaddy’s sales channel.  However, in July DBS announced that Godaddy had terminated their agreement.  No details were given at the time for the reason. The importance of this relationship was made clear in statements from that release when DBS stated that they believe “the impact of this may have a material adverse affect on future revenue and profit.”  The release also noted “The company has it’s own sales channel that, whist it makes a material contribution to overall sales, is one that the company has not aggressively pursued due to our GoDaddy agreement.”

GoDaddy is one of a number of partners with whom Dark Blue Sea makes domain sales, but clearly from previous statements, Godaddy continues to be an integral part of their distribution plans.  The company also recently announced a distribution partnership with Moniker/ and has ongoing relationships with other registrars including, Tucows/OpenSRS, Network Solutions and Melbourne IT.

[Update] Dark Blue Sea has released more details and information on the contract with GoDaddy.

10|02|2009 01:12 am EDT

UPDATE : Dark Blue Sea Response To Photon Takeover

by Adam Strong in Categories: Up to the Minute

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Dark Blue Sea CEO Gregory Platz has released a statement pertaining to the Photon Group Takeover announcement

The memo advises :

DBS is reviewing the offer documents prepared by Photon and will provide further advise to shareholders in due course.

DBS Shareholders are advised to take no action in relation to Photon’s proposal.

As expected the company informs shareholders that they will keep them informed and that they should reach out to Platz if they would like more information.

10|02|2009 12:21 am EDT

Photon Group Launches Takeover Offer For Dark Blue Sea

by Chad Kettner in Categories: News

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Photon Group Limited,  one of Australia’s largest communications companies representing more than 49 independent specialist businesses, has launched a takeover bid for Dark Blue Sea, the parent company of

Photon, which already owns 30.55% of all DBS company issued shares, is offering 30 cents per share for all of the remaining ordinary shares in Dark Blue Sea (ASX:DBS).

“Photon believes the bid is an extremely attractive offer for DBS shareholders, representing a 56% premium to the average trading price of DBS shares in the last month,” said Tim Hughes, Executive Chairman of Photon Group.

The only condition to Photon’s offer is that it receives a minimum acceptance of 50.1% and that certain prescribed occurences do not occur before the offer takes effect (click here for details). Dark Blue Sea shares rose 57.5% today to 0.315.

[via Photon Group]

Dark Blue Sea CEO Greg Platz has released a statement at the DBS site.

07|16|2009 07:37 pm EDT

GoDaddy Cancels Domain Distribution Agreement with Dark Blue Sea

by Frank Michlick in Categories: News

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DDN logoAccording to a filing with the Australian Stock Exchange (PDF), Dark Blue Sea (ASX:DBS, the parent company of and the Domain Distribution Network (DDN), domain registrar GoDaddy has canceled their distribution agreement. This means that as of August 13th, 2009 GoDaddy is no longer listing domains from their own “Fabulous Domains” portfolio and domains from other sellers under this distribution agreement. According to the announcement GoDaddy has not provided a reason of the cancellation of the agreement and DBS is awaiting some additional information from them. In the meantime DBS plans to emphasize their own sales channel in order to avoid an adverse affect on their sales numbers.

Read the full announcement after the jump. (more…)

04|02|2009 05:47 pm EDT

Dark Blue Sea CEO Richard Moore Steps Down

by Adam Strong in Categories: People

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Dark Blue SeaApril 1st is always a day full of fun at, but we were disappointed to read elsewhere about news at DomainNameWire which turned out not to be part of an April Fool’s joke.  As per a company press release (PDF), Dark Blue Sea CEO Richard Moore has announced that he will be stepping down as CEO.

Moore who has been CEO of DBS since 2001 will be stepping down from the position, but plans to stay involved with the company as an executive director on a 1/2 time basis.  His roles will be to focus on corporate strategy and development, investor relations and high level relationship management with major partners, customers and suppliers.

Dark Blue Sea CFO Gregory Platz will be taking over the CEO position effective July 1st, 2009. Platz has worked with the company for 1o years and in fact helped Dean Shannon found the company back in 1999. Moore told us that Platz “knows everything about the (DBS) domain business.”  Moore and the DBS board are very confident in Platz’s abilities to move the company forward.

We wish Richard and Dark Blue Sea the best during this transition.

02|16|2009 09:50 pm EDT

Twitter Users Gang Up On Godaddy

by Adam Strong in Categories: Registrars

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Not getting anywhere with domain name support ?  Why not enlist the help of your friends and associates on a social media platform and go after the company directly ?

Christian Van Der Herst recently had his email address at Godaddy account compromised by a hacker. According to Christian, having access, the hacker was “able to get my emails and retrieve passwords from several account.  I tried to change them as soon as possible, but since they had access to the, they were able to trick companies, even calling them on the phone.”  Christian’s site is a web developers community that started in 1997 and has over 5 million unique users a month. (more…)

01|12|2009 12:13 pm EDT

Fabulous Releases TRAFFIC Down Under Videos Online

by Adam Strong in Categories: Events

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Fabulous LogoGood news. If you missed the TRAFFIC Down Under conference last year, you now have a chance to catch all of the content online.  Fabulous has put all of the presentations online at the TRAFFIC Down Under site (works best in IE).

It’s great to see the content of these presentation available for all, rather than something you have to buy.  Only one other conference I know of, Domain Roundtable, has released free content like this.  Roundtable provided free DVDs from their shows to customers.  Putting these presentations online for free provides a way to bring the messages to the masses and keep the conversation flowing.

Again, nice work Fabulous. Top notch mates !