Network Solutions has agreed to market, sell and service RealNames
subscription orders directly. Network Solutions is also investing $4.2
million in Centraal, which gives it about at 20 percent stake. The deal
also gives Network Solutions exclusive rights to offer the service through its
various partner channels worldwide.
RealNames’ service allows Web users to go directly to a Web site by simply
typing in keywords in a several languages. The service is free to users,
but cost Web site operators $100 annually.
Bob Korzeniewski, Network Solutions’ chief financial officer and acting
chief operating officer, called RealNames’ technology “a compelling and
viable approach to driving traffic and navigating to specific Web pages.”
“Centraal provides Network Solutions an opportunity to expand the services
we offer to customers on a worldwide basis… This opportunity builds upon
our industry-leading domain name registration and customer service
infrastructure,” he said.
Keith Teare, Centraal’s founder and chief executive officer, said the deal
will help meet the company’s goal of making RealNames ubiquitous.
“Any user, at any time and from any place on the Internet should be able to
navigate the Internet using whatever RealName a company chooses and has the
right to use,” he said.