Afilias and Neustar have had their key gTLD registry contracts temporarily extended after they expired on New Year’s Eve.
The .info and .biz agreements, which were both signed with ICANN in 2006, both ended on December 31 2012.
Both deals, of course, have a presumption of renewal. They’ve been extended for six months while renewal terms are finalized.
I understand that the delay in getting new contracts negotiated and approved is due largely to all the other stuff going on at ICANN right now.
(New gTLD applicants planning to negotiate a non-standard contract with ICANN, take note.)
According to ICANN, drafts of the the next versions of the .info and .biz contracts will be posted for public comment this month.
I’d expect to see some of the same minor technical and legal changes made as those that were made to Verisign’s .net contract, which was renegotiated in 2011.
It’s going to be interesting to see whether .info and .biz will keep the same rights to increase registry fees, in light of the US Department of Commerce’s move to freeze .com prices.
However, .com is a special case and Commerce does not have a built-in right to examine .biz and .info contracts.