As part of its expansion activities, London-based CentralNic has acquired the rights to operate the Slovakian ccTLD, .sk, for €26 million. The acquisition is probably the first of its kind among country code top level domain (ccTLD) registries and involves an initial €21.27m for the registry SK-NIC and the an additional €4.85m in future milestone payments.
The acquisition involves the purchase of the business, including all the property, rights and assets, of SK-NIC. CentralNic believes there are opportunities for significant growth in .sk. Slovakia’s economy is growing strongly but a low penetration rate for .sk domain names. It is estimated there are 63 .sk domain names per 1000 people in Slovakia as of 31 December 2016, compared to the neighbouring Czech Republic with 121 domains per 1000 and the UK with 162 domains. Thus indicating significant growth potential with competitive pricing and service levels.
The acquisition is part of CentralNic’s rapid expansion. As well as the .sk acquisition CentralNic also announced they have added 10 years to the contract to provide registry services for the .xyz new generic top level domain (new gTLD) to 2032. The .xyz announcement noted they have moved to a monthly fee based on the volume of .xyz registrations and subscriptions managed. Until recently .xyz was the largest of the new gTLDs, with registrations peaking at 6.756 million in December 2016, but in recent months have dropped to 2.432 million following a low renewal rate after a heavily discounted promotion in mid-2016. But it is still the second largest of the new gTLDs, only behind .top which currently has 3.141 million.