The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) is urging its members and other domain name registrants to let ICANN know they oppose price hikes on .com domain names. Just like the organization did when it opposed the removal of price caps on .org domain names, the ICA has created an easy to use tool to allow people to submit a comment to ICANN voicing their opposition. For what it’s worth, people in favor of allowing price hikes could also use the tool.
As you may know, thousands of people commented when it came to .org price caps, but ICANN largely ignored those comments. In fact, Kevin Murphy reported that the ICANN ombudsman considered these submissions to be “spam.” I disagree with this assessment and believe the ICA simply made it easier for domain registrants to provide their feedback without having to figure out how to navigate through the proper channels to submit their comments.
The ICA is urging its members to submit their own comments – either using the automated tool or not. Members are also encouraged to let other domain name registrants know about the comment period as well. Sharing the ICA page via social media channels would be helpful.
Here’s what the ICA emailed to its members today (shared with their permission):
Tell ICANN what you think of their plan to raise the price of .com!
Verisign is the sole-source supplier of .com domain names at the wholesale level, giving them an effective monopoly. When you register or renew a domain name through your registrar, such as GoDaddy or NetworkSolutions, $7.85 of your registration or renewal payment goes to Verisign. The actual cost to Verisign to provide the expensive infrastructure and the management of the registry has been estimated at between $2.50 to $2.90 per domain name per year. Other registries have said they can offer the same services at lower cost. But ICANN does not allow other companies the opportunity to bid to operate the .com registry, for ICANN has given Verisign the perpetual right to operate the .com registry – meaning forever!
As the cost to operate the .com registry drops lower and lower, Verisign’s profits are already rising higher and higher. Verisign already enjoys one of the highest profit margins of any company in the world. A further price increase is not justified. Yet ICANN staff has determined that Verisign should be able to increase prices on .com registrants by 7% per year from the current $7.85 to $10.26 after four years. This will impose hundreds of millions of dollars of added expense on .com registrants – simply to benefit Verisign.
ICANN is supposed to act in the public interest, and be responsive to public comment. This comment period is your opportunity to share your views with ICANN, whether you think the price increases are justified or unjustified. You can learn more about the issue in the following articles:
Domain Name Wire: .Com prices are going up after Verisign pays off ICANN
ICANN says it wants more public feedback. Here’s your chance! Take 30 seconds to let ICANN know what you think.