GoDaddy Arrogance on Full Display
An Inside Look into the Anti-Competitive Practices of a Monopoly
It’s been a great last thirty days! We got to see first-hand as Big Tech demonstrated the degree of disdain and animosity they have for their U.S. customers. We watched unprecedented censorship, in a direct attempt to impact what should have otherwise been a close but spirited election. We watched a major credit card provider deplatform entire market segments based on what solely appears to be presumptions of political affiliation and voter alignment. Denial of service attacks are becoming rampant and highly targeted against any platform that dares to show videos or evidence related to corruption. The level of abuse and targeting of Americans is now unfortunately very heavy – and very real. How far some will go to contain knowledge and awareness of malfeasance should be terrifying to those who care about freedom and democracy. It is one thing to watch the FTC and DOJ fall asleep and allow for monopolies to consume the world. It is quite another to see them be overtly weaponized against the very people who have now been forced to rely upon them. We deserve better, but we were warned.
One could spend an entire week on any Twitter feed related to PayPal, and never run out of direct reports that countless people are having their accounts suspended and balances seized. PayPal themselves terminated all payment services in October to Epik, then went on a libelous campaign as they falsified facts and tried to destroy Epik’s reputation through coverage across more than 185 news outlets. While they told the press they attempted to work with Epik, PayPal’s real response rings with the truth of their total disregard for those who entrust them: “We have no obligation to disclose the details of our risk management or security procedures to you. Therefore, we are denying your request for additional information as to why we are no longer offering our services to you.” Didn’t they just tell journalists across the country that they had tried to work with Epik in the days leading up to termination?
GoDaddy though has a history and long trail over the past two decades of consistently finding a way to do the wrong thing when it counts the most. Whether that was staying silent when ICANN was weighing opinions on ridiculous price hikes for .com names. Or the recent trend of GoDaddy seizing domain names and content, and then telling the owners they would be held until they were deleted. The depth and degree of hypocrisy may in fact give new definition to the words. Employee reports of rampant racism, sexual discrimination, deceptive practices, political bias, and yes even outright fraud, give way to the equally large concern that this monopoly is an anchor for Big Tech in America, and can serve to destroy lives anytime it needs to meet a requested narrative. Along the way, they think it is okay to ostracize and outright ban an innovative company like Epik even from trade shows or speaking engagements, as they literally attack in public and in writing on the basis of religious beliefs. This is bigotry and discrimination in plain sight, with no regards for future consequence or fear of transparency.
Here is a great example, issued from a generic email address, and in usual GoDaddy etiquette, lacking even the courtesy of a contact name or a signature for such an important landmark event. This is how they notify Epik – two hours after the election was called for Joe Biden – that they will be terminating fast transfer inclusions over Afternic for any of Epik’s current and future registrar customers. Can you say anticompetitive behavior from a group in massive need of antitrust oversight as a monopoly? Epik can, and it is added to a rapidly growing list of unthinkable market behaviors that will be accounted for.
Imagine the audacity and confidence it would take, as a $12 billion bully, to write a letter stating that hundreds of thousands of domains are no longer welcome on an industry-inclusive platform. Furthermore – if you tell anyone – this behemoth will come and use the legal system to sue and create financial harm as an intentional tool to inflict pain and suffering. That is where our industry is at. The point where massive public companies literally write unsigned letters, stating that a campaign of hate and isolation is underway. GoDaddy will literally destroy you, if you don’t just roll over and take the service reductions and decreased access to market in obedient silence.
GoDaddy does not deserve the incredible gift or responsibility they enjoy over their massive consumer base, in majority gifted as a side effect of losing billions of dollars in horrific marketing and sexual objectification over the years. Nor should they be trusted to not act in the expressed interest of their own competitive gain and monopoly creation, regardless of cost or consequence to our industry. Even if it means working to actively destroy the lives of others for the benefit of their own shareholders.
If anyone believes that GoDaddy’s capitalistic prerogative is to discontinue services and threaten small businesses at will to contain competition, then that is your right as well. You might not like how it turns out in the end though!