Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, has announced that it will be selling its Google Domains business to Squarespace Inc., a leading website building and hosting company. The deal, which is said to be worth around $180 million, includes the transfer of approximately 10 million domains hosted on Google Domains across millions of customers.
This strategic move is part of Alphabet Inc.’s ongoing efforts to adapt to rapidly evolving technologies and stimulate growth, especially in the context of a slowing Chinese economy despite the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions six months ago. The reshuffling of assets will see Eddie Wu, the current chairman of Google’s e-commerce group, succeed Daniel Zhang as the CEO of Alphabet Inc. Meanwhile, Zhang will take on the role of CEO and chairman of Alibaba’s cloud computing unit, which is expected to be listed for trading within a year.
Squarespace, on the other hand, is set to become the exclusive domains provider for customers who purchase a domain from Google along with their Workspace subscription. The company has committed to honoring Google Domains customers’ renewal prices for at least 12 months following the close of the deal, ensuring a smooth transition for all involved.
The deal is expected to close in the third quarter, and representatives from both Google and Squarespace have yet to comment on the specifics of the deal price.
This move comes at a time when Google has been under scrutiny by the Chinese government amid a crackdown on the technology industry. The company’s co-founder, Jack Ma, has kept a low profile following his public criticism of China’s regulators and financial systems in 2020, which led to the government scuttling a planned initial public offering of Alibaba’s financial affiliate Ant Group.
The sale of Google Domains to Squarespace marks a significant shift in the landscape of the domain hosting industry, with potential implications for the future of online business operations and web infrastructure. As the dust settles on this major deal, all eyes will be on how these changes will impact the customers and the broader market.