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Surge in new domain registrars

Kevin Murphy, January 19, 2011, 16:35:43 (UTC), Domain Registrars

ICANN is seeing a spike in newly accredited domain name registrars.

Since the start of the year, the organization has approved 16 new companies, compared to only about 40 in the whole of 2010.

About half a dozen of the new registrars appear to belong to domain investor Andrew Reberry of TurnCommerce, which owns domains such as Glossary.com, Bulldozers.com and Fluff.com.

Many of the others were accredited yesterday and have very generic registrar names, such as Host Name Services Inc, International Registration Services Inc and Online Name Services Inc.

There are no web sites associated with this latest batch yet, but I’d be surprised if many turn out to have sought accreditation with customer-facing domain services in mind.

This is pure speculation, but I wonder if any of this may be related to ICANN’s recent decision to loosen the restrictions on cross-ownership between registrars and registries.

If and when ICANN opens up its new top-level domains program to applications, which could happen as soon as August, potential registries will also be allowed to own registrars.

Could the market for flipping accredited companies return? It’s happened before, but it may not be the most efficient or economical way of achieving accreditation nowadays.

The uptick in newly approved registrars may of course just be an anomaly.

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