Privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo has taken control of the Duck.com domain from Google.
Google had gained ownership of the Duck.com domain after agreeing to acquire video codec startup On2 back in 2009, though the deal wasn’t concluded until the following year. For the record, On2 was previously known as the Duck Corporation, which is why it owned the Duck.com domain.
DuckDuckGo, for the uninitiated, was founded in 2008 and is pitched as the antithesis of Google, insofar as it doesn’t profile or track its users around the web. It also promises to serve the same results to all users, unlike Google.
The core of the problem was that the Duck.com domain redirected to Google.com, much to chagrin of DuckDuckGo, which felt this could be confusing. But in July, Googler Rob Shilkin responded to a Bloomberg reporter’s criticism of the situation by arranging for the redirect to go to a new landing page at on2.com, along with some spiel explaining the backstory and a link to DuckDuckGo.com.
i looked into this. we acquired https://t.co/tNEmrTMysy as part of On2 (ex Duck Corporation) in 2010, hence redirected. to help any lost anatine navigators, we've now changed the redirect and added links. tks for the flags. Quack on.🦆 pic.twitter.com/JPkRazlthq
— Rob Shilkin (@robshilkin) July 20, 2018
However, this didn’t address DuckDuckGo’s overarching complaint — founder and CEO Gabriel Weinberg, in a now-deleted tweet, sent out his thanks for the new redirect in July, along with a request to buy the domain from Google.
Fast-forward five months, and it seems DuckDuckGo is the owner of Duck.com, which now redirects to DuckDuckGo.com. Weinberg confirmed this in a statement to NamePros on Monday, as noted by Fast Company. The WHOIS registration details are concealed, but it looks like ownership was officially transferred on December 7, 2018.
So there you are — the long-running Duck.com saga has come to an amicable conclusion.