Registrant changes of domain names under the .fr TLD

Market rallies in 2015 after downturn in 2014 compared with 2013. Between 1.4% and 1.9% of domain names under the .fr TLD change hands each year.

In this month’s issue of our Industry Report on Domain Names we focus on the phenomenon of registrant changes of domain names under the .fr TLD. These changes may be related to:

  • updates of Whois data (mergers, acquisitions, sales of businesses or brands)
  • transactions exclusively involving domain names (which appears to be the case of the Secondary Market)

Unfortunately it is not possible for Afnic to know whether a change in ownership falls within the first or second of the above two categories. A study of the global data, however, can be used to quantify the dynamics of the changes in ownership at work under the .fr TLD.


The table below indicates the number of registrant changes processed (in thousands), the average stock of domain names under the .fr TLD in the year, and the ratio between the number of holder changes and the average stock. The figures for 2015 are still estimates.



It can be seen that registrant changes underwent a highly dynamic phase from 2011 to 2013, with growth both in volume and as a percentage of the average stock. The trend slowed down in 2014 before picking up momentum again in 2015. A study of 2015 data shows a significant peak in the second quarter, which may be connected to the opening of domain names with 1 and 2 characters.


The graph below gives a visual representation of the data:




 It is interesting to note that the percentage of transactions has stayed between 1.5% and 2% since 2011. This relative stability of the level of transactions as a percentage underlines the dynamism of the secondary market, insofar as the number of domain names under the .fr has steadily grown. 2016 will show whether the recovery observed in 2015 is a fundamental trend or only related to the opening of domain names with 1 and 2 characters in Q2.

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