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GoDaddy, Rival Trade Accusations Over Domain Name Transfers

Namecheap had accused GoDaddy of delaying domain transfers to discourage its customers from leaving the service.

GoDaddy, the Internet's largest domain registrar, says that complaints from rival firm Namecheap about delays in transferring domain names are attributable to a failure to communicate.

GoDaddy has seen thousands of domains jumping ship in recent days because of its support of a controversial piece of federal legislation aimed at stopping the theft of intellectual property on the Internet called the Stop Online Piracy Act. GoDaddy has withdrawn its support of the measure, which is expected to go through another round of revision next month, but the defections continue.

GoDaddy says Namecheap's complaints could have been cleared up expeditiously if the registrar had informed GoDaddy of its problems instead of airing them in a company blog.

"Namecheap posted their accusations in a blog, but to the best of our knowledge, has yet to contact Go Daddy directly, which would be common practice for situations like this," Rich Merdinger, GoDaddy's senior director of product development, said in a statement.

In its blog, Namecheap accused GoDaddy of delaying domain transfers to discourage its customers from ditching the service. "As many customers have recently complained of transfer issues, we suspect that this competitor is thwarting efforts to transfer domains away from them," it wrote. "Specifically, GoDaddy appears to be returning incomplete Whois information to Namecheap, delaying the transfer process."

GoDaddy, though, asserted that it was the standard operating procedure in the registrar community to place restrictions on Whois requests in order to prevent abuse of them. "Nevertheless, we have now proactively removed the rate limit for Namecheap, as a courtesy, but it is important to point out, there still may be back-end IP addresses affiliated with Namecheap of which we are unaware," Merdinger said.

"For complete resolution, we should be talking to each other -- an effort we are initiating since they have not done so themselves," he added.

Determined to have the last word on the subject, Namecheap's chief executive, Richard Kirkendall, wrote in an addendum to the company blog, "Whether it was 'rate-limiting' or something else, all we know on our side is that GoDaddy was preventing us from conducting normal business with our clients, and in turn causing harm to our reputation and at the same time overloading our support channels."

He contended that the original posting was written to explain to Namecheap's customers why they may be experiencing delays in their domain transfer requests from GoDaddy. "I guess with all the hoopla lately, you guys [the media] decided to make this into some sort of story," he added.

Follow freelance technology writer John P. Mello Jr. and Today@PCWorld on Twitter.

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