1&1 Internet

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Type: Publicly held
Industry: Internet
Founded: 1988
Founder(s): Ralph Dommermuth
Headquarters: Montabaur
Country: Germany
Employees: 6,500
Website: 1und1.de
Blog: German Blog
US Blog
Facebook: German Facebook
US Facebook
Twitter: TwitterIcon.png@1und1
Key People
Robert Hoffmann, CEO
Robin Rudat, Head of Domains & Productivity
Thomas Keller, Head of Domain Services
Ulrich Retzlaff, Domain Expert
Neal McPherson, Product Manager Domains

1&1 Internet SE is a German company that offers web hosting, domain name registration services, e-mail and messaging services, as well as cloud solutions and dedicated servers. It is a subsidiary of United Internet AG. 1&1 Internet's main headquarter is located in Montabaur, Germany and its main office in the United States is located in Pennsylvania and it has a data center in Kansas. The company also maintains offices in Austria, France, The Philippines, Romania, Spain, Poland, Canada, Italy, Mexico and The United Kingdom.


Ralph Dommermuth founded the company in 1988 and it started as a marketing company. 1&1 Internet's first major and innovative project was to revitalize the online service offerings of BTX, which became successful by using new technology for its advertisements, and changed its name of BTX to T-Online. 1&1 also provided content for T-Online and partnered in developing new technologies and services. The company developed the Kits Standard, a core software for intelligent terminals and the decoder or browser for T-Online.[1]

In 1992, IBM became one of the company's major clients after launching is Customer Care Division to provide support for PC users. By 1998, United Internet AG went public and the proceeds of the company's Initial Public Offering, worth $60 million, were used to expand 1&1 Internet into a group of internet companies by bringing in Schlund + Partner.[2]

1&1 Internet introduced Puretec, an affordable web hosting service, GMX, e-mail and messaging services and domain name registration services during the latter part of 1998. The company also developed its data center. In 2000, the company launched its 1&1 e-Shops and e-commerce suites, and by 2001 the company introduced its dedicated server packages. The company's 1&1 Web Hosting service received recognition as market leader in Europe.[3]

The company started to expand its web hosting business internationally by opening an office in the United Kingdom. In 2003, 1&1 Internet opened its business in the United States and offered its services free of charge for three years to US customers to explore the company's potential. By 2004, 1&1 Internet launched its complete service offerings. In 2008, the company opened its data center in Lenexa, Kansas and it also announced that its 10 millionth domain has been registered. By 2010, 1&1 Internet established its business in Poland and expanded its services to Canada in 2011.[4]

In May 2012 1&1 starts selling webhosting products on the Italian market and in 2013 1&1 celebrates 25th anniversary and starts selling webhosting products on the Mexican market.

At present the company has more than 13 million customers worldwide and it has 6,500 employees, 2,000 developers, and maintains different offices and websites in several countries around the world.[5]

1&1 Internet and .info

1&1 Internet is one of the 18 consortiums comprising Afilias, LLC., the entity delegated by ICANN to manage the operations of the .info registry on November 2000.[6] .info is the second unrestricted top level domain (TLD) that was introduced, following the .com TLD. In 2001, 1&1 Internet was one of the registrars which offered the real time registration of the .info domain names during its launching in 2001. The company also provided its technical expertise to Afilias to help build a technical strategy to win the bid to operate the .info registry.[7]

In June and July of 2002, 1 & 1 Internet launched a promotional campaign and offered the .info to registrants for free for two years. In addition, registrants who bought web hosting during that period were eligible for a lifetime .info registration as long as they remain customers of 1&1 Internet.[8]

1&1 Internet and ICANN

New gTLDs

1&1 began promoting New gTLDs to the public for preregistrations in 2013 as did many other Registrars, through their websites such as 1and1.com and 1and1.co.uk. They created TV commercials that encouraged the public to preregister domain names for a variety of New gTLDs. In the United Kingdom the TV spots were later pulled off the air by the Advertising Standards Authority in that country after being deemed "misleading". The Authority ruled that the ad led viewers to believe they would definitely secure the domain name when it became available by preregistering.[9]

Objection to Verisign-ICANN Agreement

In 2005, 1&1 Internet, through its domain expert Eric Schaetzlein, led a group of 30 registrars in objecting the draft proposal by ICANN to give Verisign exclusive control to manage the .com gTLD. Schaetzlein argued that under the new proposed agreement, Verisign is given the authority to raise domain fees as much as 7 percent per year without any justification. According to him it would negatively affect the competition within the Internet industry and domain registrants worldwide.

In a statement Schaetzlein said, "The current draft of the agreement practically assigns .com to Verisign forever. This contradicts ICANN’s core mission to promote competition in the Internet industry, which was established in its own by-laws and in the Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Commerce." [10]

Schaetzlin, also pointed out that based on the existing agreement between Verisign and ICANN, which was set to end in 2007, it is clearly stipulated that Verisign must justify any price-increase and it requires approval from ICANN. The opposing registrars described the wording of the newly proposed agreement as a major step backwards and speculated that the draft contract of the .com administration may be part the settlement between ICANN and Verisign's legal battle.

Schaetzlin expressed, "We think that ICANN wanted to protect itself from possible cost risks and problems with this settlement rather than act in the best interest of both the Internet community and the general public".[11]

The opposing registrars asked the ICANN Board to make necessary changes on its draft proposal agreement with Verisign and to review its settlement proposal with the company. In addition, the registrars also asked ICANN to hold a public hearing for the Internet community to express their concerns regarding the issue.


The companies complete service offerings include:[12]

  • Domain Name Registration
  • 1&1 Email Solutions (Instant Mail, 1&1 MailXchange and Microsoft® Exchange)
  • 1&1 Web Hosting (Linux Hosting, Microsoft Hosting and MyBusiness Site)
  • eCommerce
  • 1&1 Server Solutions (1&1 Dedicated Servers, 1&1 Dynamic Cloud Server and 1&1 Virtual Servers)
  • ListLocal
  • Microsoft Sharepoint


Some of the company's awards include:[13]

  • TenHostingReviews.com’s Best Dedicated Hosting
  • Smart Hosting Choices‘ Best Dedicated Hosting
  • Web Hosting Report’s Best Dedicated Hosting
  • Verisign’s Top Domain Registrar
  • HostReview‘s Best Budget Hosting
  • FindMyHost Editor’s Choice for Shared Hosting
  • WebsiteMagazine #1 Web host
  • WebHost Directory #1 Shared Hosting
  • FindMyHost Editor’s Choice for Email Hosting
  • Kubus.net Award for Best Windows Web Hosting
  • Hosting Review Editor’s Pick Award
  • FindMyHost.com Editor’s Choice Award


1&1 Internet developed strategic business partnerships with Sedo, Microsoft, Google, City Search, Afilias, Symantec, PayPal, Parallels, Accuweather, Associated Press and GeoTrust[14]