The International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) today announced the acquisition of Domains.coop, the first and largest accredited registrar of.coop domains, from Midcounties Co-operative. This puts the ICA in a significant position to expand the adoption of the .coop domain amongst the 1.4 million cooperatives around the world.
The .coop domain celebrated it’s tenth anniversary this year in January and it is the only domain specifically for a business model.
Charles Gould, ICA’s Director-General noted that “the acquisition would not have been possible without the generous contribution of Midcounties Co-operative, the largest independent co-operative in the UK, who invested heavily in the development of .coop ten years ago and who have now gifted their interest in Domains.coop to the ICA.”
“The.coop domain is a strong online symbol for the co-operative movement. The opportunity for co-ops to employ this joint identity on the Internet perfectly complements the ICA’s efforts to raise awareness of coops into the Co-operative Decade.”
The announcement preceded the bi-annual ICA General Assembly, held during the Co-operatives United World Festival and ICAExpo in Manchester, UK at which the Blueprint for a Co-operative Decade was launched. The events marked the close of the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives by the co-operative community.
Ben Reid, Chief Executive of Midcounties Co-operative, said “the Board of Midcounties Co-operative was very pleased that the ICA is going to assume responsibility for the on- going promotion of .coop. It has been an act of faith by the Society, when they secured the domain on behalf of the Movement, which has now been justified by the recognition that .coop can make a significant contribution to raising the awareness of Co-operatives worldwide.”
While there are a number of registrars around the world, Domains.coop is responsible for about 80% of annual sales of domains. It achieves this through a small network of resellers who are inside the co-operative family.
The US side of .coop is currently being held in the hands of the National Co-operative Business Association (NCBA).