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International Investing / Australia (All-Ordinaries)


Subject:  Re: Melbourne IT Ltd (MLB) Date:  2/8/2002  9:34 AM
Author:  pcky Number:  3488 of 6186

Having the right to issue domain names is like having a license to print money. So where in the world does MLB get the right to issue domain names? Does MLB pay for this right? Can it be taken away?

Important questions that I will not be answering authoritively.

In any case, MLB will and is facing more competition. Originally it was the only registrar in Australia, but as of last year the market was opened up to competition.

I registered my domain name at for AUD$33. MLB charges AUD$69.30. Internationally MLB charges US$35, other discount registrars charge US$11.95.

MLB is more than just domain names and describes itself as a global player this is how it describes it self, "Melbourne IT Ltd is a leading supplier of domain names and related services to the global market." How much these "related services" add to the bottom line I don't know.

The way I see it, MLB charges premium prices and attracts customers through prominent advertising and partnerships. This is not unlike the US based Network Solutions Inc ( which is owned by VeriSign. Initially I had paid them $US70 (approx. $AUD130) for my 1 year registration. 3 months ago they were still asking for that amount. Today I see "Limited Time Offer $29" on their home page.

I would have never of known about Click'N'Go if they hadn't snail-mailed me directly. They would not have done that if I didn't already have a registered domain name registered to an Australian postal address. (I should thank them for going to the expense and not being an e-mail spammer.)

So, it's likely smaller registrars at the budget end of the market won't attract as many first time domain name owners because they don't have the advertising budget and a "big" internet shop front. In the short term MLB will benefit from the growth in domain names. In the long term, it will be important to see if MLB can hold on to customers and make them renew their domain name registrations and purchase additional services.

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