In a surprising move, Alphabet Inc. has sold its Google Domains assets and operations to website building and hosting giant Squarespace. Squarespace will acquire around 10 million domains from Google in the transaction.
As reported by Engadget, the transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2023. As part of the agreement, Squarespace will honor the renewal prices for Google Domains customers for at least 12 months following the close of the purchase. Squarespace’s domains start at $20 per year, while customers can purchase a domain from Google for as little as $7 annually.
Squarespace will also “provide additional incentives to encourage Google Domains customers to build a website with Squarespace and adopt other Squarespace offerings.” However, the nature these “incentives” is not immediately evident.
Upon closing, Squarespace, a long-time reseller of Google Workspace, will “become the exclusive domains provider for any customer purchasing a domain along with their Workspace subscription from Google directly for a minimum of three years.” Squarespace promises to provide billing and support services to Google Workspace customers who signed up for the service through Google Domains.
“While the majority of the benefits of this deal will be realized in 2024 and beyond, Squarespace believes this deal will be meaningfully accretive to its business from both a revenue and free cash flow perspective over time,” Squarespace explains.
“We are exceptionally proud to be chosen to serve the customers of the Google Domains business,” says Anthony Casalena, Founder & CEO of Squarespace. “Domains are a critical part of web infrastructure and an essential piece of every business’s online presence. We look forward to serving these new customers as we have served millions using our domain products and are committed to ensuring a seamless transition.”
“In keeping with our efforts to sharpen our focus, we have entered into a definitive agreement with Squarespace for the acquisition of customer accounts of the Google Domains registrar business. Supporting a smooth transition for customers over the coming months, with the help of the Google Domains team, is our top priority. Squarespace can provide an integrated experience of purchasing and managing domains along with offering other tools that these customers may need to build their online presence,” adds Matt Madrigal, Vice President and General Manager, Merchant Shopping of Google.
On a dedicated webpage concerning the acquisition, Squarespace promises to collaborate with Google throughout the transition to ensure “the best possible experience for customers.” To that end, Squarespace will utilize Google’s infrastructure during migration, ideally fueling a smooth transfer for customers.
Squarespace will provide a spam-free holding page for users with a Google Domain but no active website. “If you don’t have a website or don’t feel ready to build one, don’t worry. When your domain is registered with Squarespace, you can get a beautiful, spam-free holding page while you finalize your vision,” the company says.
Squarespace and Google have worked together for years thanks to tight-knit collaboration tools between Squarespace and Google Workspace, so the acquisition is perhaps not as surprising as it seems at first blush.
Citing a source close to the purchase, Bloomberg reports that Alphabet is selling its Google Domains business to Squarespace for around $180 million. The transaction details have not yet been detailed by Alphabet or Squarespace.
Image credits: Header photo licensed via Depositphotos.