June 16, 2023: Google has made a surprising move by selling its extensive collection of domain names to Squarespace, a popular webpage creation service. Squarespace will soon take control of Google’s domain name business and its millions of customers currently paying for domain hosting. To entice former Google customers, Squarespace plans to encourage them to switch their websites to a Squarespace template.
Late on Thursday, Squarespace announced its acquisition of all the assets from Google Domains, the domain name registrar established by the tech giant in 2014. The deal includes approximately 10 million domains currently hosted on Google’s platform. As a result, Squarespace will become the exclusive provider for individuals purchasing domain names through their Google Workspace subscription.
While the financial details of the transaction remain undisclosed, Bloomberg reported, based on an anonymous source, that Squarespace is paying around $180 million for the registrar. The companies anticipate that the sale will be finalized in the third quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approvals. Assuming all goes smoothly and the Federal Trade Commission approves the Squarespace buyout, customers can expect to experience the transition starting in 2024.
According to Matt Madrigal, Vice President of Merchant Shopping, the sale is part of Google’s efforts to refine its focus. The company is committed to facilitating a seamless transition of customer accounts to Squarespace in the upcoming months. Customers can expect their renewal prices to be honored for the next 12 months following Squarespace’s complete acquisition.
For web developers who have intentionally avoided Squarespace’s webpage building options, the company has promised to provide additional incentives for transitioning their sites to Squarespace. Previously, Google Domain relied on Google’s cloud infrastructure and Workspace for its functionality.
In a support document released on Thursday, Google clarified that all Workspace and G Suite subscriptions would eventually be managed through a Squarespace account. However, if customers prefer not to be driven by Squarespace, Google stated that they still have the option to transfer their domain to another registrar.
According to Madrigal, Squarespace aims to offer an integrated experience for purchasing and managing domains, along with providing other essential tools to help customers establish their online presence.