I had a domain name mash up this week. A close acquaintance of mine is a partner in a company called Emall.ca. Emall.ca has been acquiring .ca domain names for many years and has been using those domains for either affiliate marketing endeavors or leasing them on occasion to certain companies.
When Yellow Pages Group announced their 2006 first quarter results this past Tuesday - Yellow Pages Income Fund Reports 2006 First Quarter Results - I was pleasantly surprised to see this in the press release:
"As part of its expansion strategy, the Company also reported the recent acquisition of 389 domain names that target a wide range of consumer categories from Emall.ca, owner of one of Canada's largest dot-ca domain portfolios, for a purchase price of approximately $2.5 million. The acquisition is comprised of some of the most attractive generic dot-ca domain names in Canada including: autos.ca, taxis.ca, attorneys.ca, doctors.ca, and maps.ca. 'The acquisition of those domain names gives us the opportunity to build on our strong online positioning and extend our reach and relevance through popular vertical categories. The online search market is evolving rapidly and we are moving quickly to help ensure we are well positioned to grow our share of this market in Canada,' said Mr. Tellier."
I got the opportunity to ask Jean-Pascal Lion from Yellow Pages Group about this acquisition when he spoke on my guest panel for the last class of the CMA - Canadian Marketing Association - eMarketing professional certificate course (you can read my Blog posting on that event here: CMA eMarketing Course Ends With A Bang).
It's clear that Yellow Pages Group sees a core strategy in consumers who still search for root names. It also makes sense, because a domain like maps.ca will be a million-dollar-plus property in a very short period of time.
All sides win.
I also noticed that Mark Evans Blogged about the acquisition here: .ca Domain Names: Get 'Em While They're Hot. One key point that Evans and I emailed about earlier this week was that back in the day - when Emall.ca grabbed all of these domains - it was not as simple as choosing a domain, seeing if it was available and pumping in your credit card digits. Canadian domain names could only be acquired if you had a registered company name that matched the domain name you were requesting. That being said, a 2.5 million pay day is still putting a smile on Emall.ca's face.