New .com contract revealed: Verisign gets to raise prices, ICANN makes millions more

Kevin Murphy, March 27, 2012, 23:58:51 (UTC), Domain Registries

ICANN and Verisign both stand to make oodles of cash from their renewed .com registry contract.

A proposed draft of the next .com Registry Agreement was published by ICANN late this evening.

It would enable Verisign to carry on raising its .com registry fee by 7%, in four of the next six years. This provision, which was in the 2006 agreement also, was not unexpected.

But the deal will also see Verisign pay ICANN millions of dollars more in transaction fees.

Instead of a quarterly lump sum, which is capped at $4.5 million in the current contract, ICANN will instead get a $0.25 fee for every year of a .com registered, renewed or transferred.

According to my quick-and-dirty calculations, that would have brought ICANN approximately $6 million in extra revenue — roughly $24 million in total — from .com domains last year.

(The most recent .com registry reports show billable transactions per month worth about $2 million to ICANN, using the new agreement’s calculation. However, under the current agreement ICANN can only collect $18 million per year, according to its last approved budget.)

The revised contract contains several other changes also. I’ll have more coverage of those tomorrow.

The deal, which is not expected to come into effect until the end of November, is now open for public comment until April 26.

It needs to be approved by the ICANN board of directors, the Verisign board and the US Department of Commerce before it is finally signed.

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Comments (7)

  1. rk says:

    .com contract needs to be opened for competitive bidding. ICANN is a morally and ethically CORRUPT (mis)ORGANIZATION.

    The original contract was illegally signed behind closed door.

    Open bidding will bring down the .com prices to $2 to $3 range and the contract winner will still make loads of money on 100 million dot-com domains registered.

    Time to replace ICANN with a better and honest organization is now!

  2. Mike says:

    IMO, corruption alive and well at ICANN and Verisign with the blessing of the Department of Commerce .

    Land of the Free to screw Americans, and the rest of the world I might add.

    WTF is there not competitive bidding? Looks like very dirty business to me.

    This stinks almost like mafia in the domain industry.

  3. KD says:

    So VeriSign says “ICANN, yes you can raise your prices”

    ICANN says “VeriSign, yes you can make more money”

    I would love to be either of these companies, nothing or no one is out there to stop them. One organization scratching the back of another for it’s back to be scratched in return. Not that any of this is new, but it really frustrates me every time I think about it!

  4. JB says:

    It’s pure profit. They are selling ones and zeros through an automated system with a few regulatory fees.

  5. Scott says:

    Is it possible for ICANN to be any more corrupt? I mean, come on…time for the end of ICANN.

  6. Nuno Oliveira says:

    Competitive bidding, please. Raising prices 7% per year in the middle of a world crisis? If Verisign isn’t making enough money, even with infrastructure costs decreasing, please leave it to another organization.

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