.NZ Provides Guidance To Bankrupt Companies On Domain Names, Merging Registrars And Resellers

New Zealand’s Domain Name Commission has launched a guide targeted at the insolvency industry to give them some information to help them with the domain names of companies placed in liquidation, the organisation announced in their latest monthly newsletter.

The guide [pdf] is a result of a consultation with the New Zealand Treasury when a company is struck off the companies register. As a result there is a process in place that can permit a former Director and shareholder to license a struck off company’s domain name. More details are available on the DNC’s website here.

The DNC has also thought about the current market environment for registrars and resellers and are aware that at this time that there is likely to be a higher chance of merger and acquisition activity in the domain name market.

This, the DNC says, can bring benefits to the domain name space but it can also lessen competition and involve companies who may not be a .nz authorised registrar and therefore not regulated by the .nz policy and contractual framework.

With that in mind, the DNC reminds any authorised registrars to engage with them early on if there are any changes in directorship or control or in company structure. Retrospective consent, they note, for sales and purchases is not always possible.

From mid-June, there will also be an urgent amendment to New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Act that may impact on mergers and acquisitions of registrars and resellers. If the bill passes, all foreign investment that result in a more than 25% foreign ownership interest, or an increase in existing interests to, or greater than, 50%, 75%, or effectively a change of control in the underlying business, will have to be notified to the Overseas Investment Office, starting June.

Once these changes become law, the DNC will obtain advice from New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office on what the changes may mean for any merger and acquisition activity in the .nz domain namespace.

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