Yahoo Slashes Domain prices to $4.98

Yahoo has slashed its domain name pricing to $4.98 a year through Dec. 31, continuing a pricing war among major hosting companies. The aggressive move comes just just four months after Yahoo dropped its price to $9.95 a year as part of a major push to expand its share of the shared hosting market.

The new pricing undercuts previous leader 1&1 Internet by nearly a dollar. While 1&1 operates its own ICANN-accredited registry, Yahoo continues to operate as a reseller for Melbourne IT, the Australian domain name registry that focuses on the wholesale market. While it's not known precisely what Yahoo is paying per domain, few registrars offer domains to resellers at prices below $6.50 per domain. Since it is likely selling at a loss, Yahoo has limited the offer to one domain per customer, preventing arbitrage-related bulk purchases by owners of large domain portfolios.

Yahoo's move may be a response to Interland, a major competitor in the small business hosting market, which last month lowered its domain name pricing to $7.95 a year, and was immediately rewarded with a one-month gain of 132K hostnames.

Retail Domain Name Prices, December 2004
Company One-year
.com price
&nbspPrimary Business&nbsp Primary Region
Yahoo $4.98 Shared Hosting America
1&1 Internet AG $5.99 Mixed Hosting Europe
EV1Servers $6.49 Dedicated Hosting America
Hostway $6.95 Shared Hosting America
Sipence (eNom) $6.95 Domain Registrar America
AIT Domains $6.95 Mixed Hosting America
Interland $7.95 Mixed Hosting America
Web.com $7.95 Mixed Hosting America
Go Daddy Inc $8.95 Domain Registrar America
Netcetera $9.89 Mixed Hosting Europe
RegisterFly $9.99 Domain Registrar America
Dotster $14.95 Domain Registrar America
FastHosts/UKReg $17.00 Mixed Hosting Europe
Pipex/123Reg $17.21 Mixed Hosting Europe
Network Solutions $34.99 Domain Registrar America
Register.com $35.00 Domain Registrar America

Even Network Solutions appears to have finally caught the price-cutting fever, but only selectively. The domain market pioneer continues to charge $34.99 a year for new domains, but is now offering domain transfers for $9.99 a year, the company's first foray below $10 (aside from its 100-year domain offer). Network Solutions recently began growing again after years of declines.

Among smaller hosting firms, Host Color made some headlines when it announced it was selling domains at $3 per year. However, that price appears available only as an element of bundled hosting packages that start at $68. Stand-alone domains are priced at $15 a year.