As far as modern day tech companies go, few have commanded more attention than GoDaddy. Constantly in the headlines, the company has found the magic formula for commanding attention with frivolities while delivering a very serious product. While this “controversy creates cash” formula has made them a household name, in the post-IPO era, it may not be as effective. So the big question is, will controversy weigh down GoDaddy shares? The following looks at the company’s past misdemeanours to see if that will be the case.
Backing of SOPA
There is something to be said for a business being political, but when it comes to GoDaddy they have a tendency to get it all wrong. The biggest incident occurred back in 2011 when they declared their support of the US Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In rebellion a thread spread through the Internet that proposed the boycott and transfer of GoDaddy owned websites. On December 29th the boycott was put into effect and the company lost around 16,100 domains subscribers in the process. Cheezburger CEO Ben Huh, a major name within the community, even threatened to remove 1000 domains himself should GoDaddy not take action. The company would eventually withdraw support and released a statement saying, “GoDaddy will support it when and if the Internet community supports it”. At the time the company absorbed the blow, but such an issue won’t be as easy to take on the chin in the future given that there will be plenty of GoDaddy shares investors looking on.
It isn’t just casual consumers who have voiced issue with GoDaddy’s beliefs. Bob Parsons, GoDaddy founder, was filmed shooting and killing an elephant in Zimbabwe. The video would do the rounds online and PETA would be outraged by it. Following their outrage PETA closed their account with GoDaddy and withdrew their support of the company. When GoDaddy shares are involved losing the support of a global organisation simply isn’t a nothing issue.
China Domain Registration
China is a true superpower that presents tremendous profit potential to companies like GoDaddy. But operating in such region carries a large amount of governmental regulation, regulation that GoDaddy was seemingly quick to point out and withdraw .cn domains over. GoDaddy lawyer Christine Jones said “We were having to contact Chinese users to ask for their personal information and begrudgingly give it to Chinese authorities. We decided we didn’t want to become an agent of the Chinese government”. Why there is a moral code to what they are doing, losing the China market will send chills down the spine of those who own GoDaddy shares.
When GoDaddy arrived on the market with their IPO, there were definitely murmurings of change. But when you look at the company’s track record it is clear that it needs to be than just murmurings. As a public company that represents GoDaddy shares changes must be made and if they can, there is no reason as to why GoDaddy shares can’t become a major stock market player.
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Alexander Bowring is a London based writer and a Southampton Solent University Screenwriting graduate. He has worked alongside TV personality and Telegraph feature writer Alison Cork, whilst also having produced content for ITV, This Morning, Canvas8, Who’s Jack, Alison at Home, and Bonallack & Bishop Solicitors. Alexander also has a keen interest in investments.