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Is there any reason for Google not to become a registrar themselves?

Technically it is, since 2005: http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2005/01/31/google_is_now_a...

[Update - Yep still on the list http://www.icann.org/en/registrars/accredited-list.html]

There was speculation at the time it was done to get hold of domain registration data, which could be used by search algorithms.

Hassle? What's the benefit to them?

I could think of a few reasons out of the massive number of reasons why. For starters, its another service that ties user to the brand. While it probably won't be a huge money maker for them, there are tiny things that may be worth doing to help them leverage growth and not to mention more analytics.

Here is one reason why they will not:

Larry Page is trying to focus the company, not make it do everything under the sun.

See: Almost every extraneous service being cut.

I agree but arguably, you could say one of the focus is the cloud. Building an AWS competitor isn't necessary something they wouldn't consider in the future. They do have a DNS service, and they already do 3rd party registrations with Google App integrations for various things. None of those have been on the cut list. And I'm sure they have plans to continue pushing things forward for cloud services. Being a registrar and having services integrated with each other (see AWS) is an added benefit. I could be wrong and this is purely random thoughts out loud, but not everything should be viewed so narrowly or direct that you miss the big picture on where the focus is at and how you get there. It's still a possibility and none of us knows what Google has planned.

They wouldn't gain any new analytics. As a registrar, Google already has access to the root zone files, they can see what domains are being registered/dropped at every registrar. They already run public DNS servers too, so they don't need to get people to register domains with them and use them for DNS to see DNS activity.

Much better integration with Google Apps for your domain if you wanted it?

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