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Domain Registrar and Web Host Petitions Government In ICANN Controversy


By Derek Iwasiuk
March 13, 2006

Domain registrar company is petitioning the U.S. Department of Commerce to deny final approval of the controversial .COM Registry Agreement with VeriSign.

Representing a majority of .COM registrars, wants the deal sent back to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to be reworked in a way that is fair and equitable. ICANN, the governing body of the Internet, has been working to settle a lawsuit with VeriSign, which manages .COM and .NET domain name extensions.

The proposed settlement agreement would allow VeriSign to raise registration fees by seven percent annually in four of the next six years without cost-based justification. It also would give VeriSign control of the .COM registry indefinitely, as it extends VeriSign's ''presumptive renewal'' right when the proposed settlement agreement expires in 2012. The new .COM registry agreement still requires approval from the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC).

Bob Parsons, CEO and Founder of commented, ''We will not sit back without a fight. This deal is outrageous. It's monopolistic because it locks in price hikes and eliminates good old-fashion competition. It's a mistake Secretary (Carlos) Gutierrez can stop.''

The DOC's mission is to foster, promote and develop the United States' foreign and domestic commerce. Two of its listed goals are to promote business policies and growth and to strengthen the international economic position of the United States.

Mr. Parsons added, ''This deal would give VeriSign a monopoly in the .COM registry -- the source of its highest profit margin. The .COM price should be going down, not up. The fact ICANN ignored an avalanche of negative comments on this proposed agreement says it all.''

In a letter sent to DOC Secretary Gutierrez, detailed why the agreement should be rejected and returned to ICANN, citing, ''absolutely no sense for the community, or stability and security as a whole.'' In addition to urging Secretary Gutierrez to reject the agreement, has joined a number of other registrars in signing a joint letter to the DOC and filing a Motion for Reconsideration.

The ICANN board voted on its recommendation to the DOC just one week after the close of the public comment period and without modifications to any of the raised issues. contends that ICANN is acting clearly outside the majority of the affected community's expectations and not in line with their own bylaws. Some members of Congress have also expressed concerns with the situation.

Mr. Parsons encourages all Americans to write to their Representatives and Senators and voice their opposition to the agreement. He is helping to facilitate this by providing a form letter people can send to their elected officials.

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