United Internet AG, the parent of 1&1 Internet, has acquired the United Domains unit of Lycos Europe, providing the owners of 1.1 million domains with a smooth transition to a new owner. United Internet will pay 34 million Euros (about $48 million US) for the domain business, which joins a family of Internet holdings that includes the enormous hosting operation at 1&1 and the domain ad business Sedo.
Lycos Europe said last month that it would shut down its web hosting business as part of a larger unwinding of its European network of Internet operations. Lycos Europe said it would seek a buyer for its domain name and e-commerce divisions, as well as its Danish web portal.
United Domains was already a sizable company when it was acquired by Lycos Europe, but a significant number of those 1.1 million domains were likely registered by users signing up for web hosting at Lycos Europe. Since Lycos plans to shutter its hosting operation, those customers would no doubt welcome an offer for affordable hosting at 1&1, which could allow United Internet to leverage the deal to boost 1&1's customer base. The domain-only customers would figure to be potential candidates for the Sedo parking revenue program.