[CCWG-ACCT] Market Mechanisms and Competition

Olivier MJ Crepin-Leblond ocl at gih.com
Thu Jan 28 12:12:06 UTC 2016

Dear all,

I am totally in agreement with Alan's points and would add that this is a position of the ALAC ad-hoc working group on IANA stewardship transition and ICANN accountability. 
Kind regards, 

Olivier Crépin-Leblond
Chair of the aforementioned working group

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<div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: Tijani BEN JEMAA <tijani.benjemaa at benjemaa.com> </div><div>Date:28/01/2016  11:44  (GMT+00:00) </div><div>To: Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca> </div><div>Cc: CCWG ACCT <accountability-cross-community at icann.org> </div><div>Subject: Re: [CCWG-ACCT] Market Mechanisms and Competition </div><div>

Directeur Exécutif 
Fédération Méditerranéenne des associations d'Internet (FMAI)
Phone: +216 98 330 114
             +216 52 385 114

Le 27 janv. 2016 à 16:11, Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca> a écrit :

Upon a bit of investigation following yesterday's discussion, I am even more convinced that we must give ICANN the latitude allowed by the phrase "where feasible and and appropriate". Moreover, I am no longer sure that the addition of "as identified through the bottom-up, multistakeholder policy development process" in core value 6 (now 5) is appropriate.

There are a number of reasons:

1. It became clear that we have multiple definitions and interpretations of "market mechanisms". And it would seem that in the minds of some, actions that ICANN takes, as in introducing new gTLDs, are "market mechanisms" themselves and thus allowed.

So some actions of ICANN in this area are proper market mechanism and allowed. Some actions would be deemed to be interfering with external-to-ICANN market mechanisms and forbidden. But we cannot use judgement to decide which is which. It is supposed to be intuitively obvious. It is not to me.

2. Depending on your definition of market mechanisms and to what extent ICANN is part of those mechanisms, Core value 4 and Core value 5 (new numbering) may well be in conflict with each other.

3. The open market may be sufficient for ensuring competition in the developed world, but it has proven insufficient on parts of the developing world. ICANN's African and Latin American and Caribbean Strategies have been praised for their efforts to strengthen (and in fact create) a vibrant DNS industry in their respective territories. ICANN has invested heavily in this and it is bearing fruit. Do we really want to send a message that this is not allowed? And can we really claim that these efforts are as the result of the multistakeholder policy development process? They certainly are the result of a multistakeholder process but not "policy development" in the sense of our Supporting Organizations (which is the only sense that this expression is used in our Bylaws). https://www.icann.org/news/blog/the-dns-entrepreneurial-center-for-the-middle-east-and-africa-takes-off-to-a-great-start provides an recent example.

4. With the understanding that we are not an arbitrator of issues that fall under the domain of national regulatory laws (and I would support explicitly saying that), ICANN does have an interest and concern about competition, and this is shown in our including it as an issue in considering and approving new registry services (via the RSEP). Without discretion, we may not even be allowed to ask about it or perform an initial evaluation on the response.

It may be clear to some that the existence of "where feasible and appropriate" in core value 4 and the omission of "as identified through the bottom-up, multistakeholder policy development process" in core value 5 have resulted in heinous crimes (yes, I know I am exaggerating), but I am not aware of them. And I believe that our recent enlightenment on ICANN's responsibility to support the development of the DNS industry in less advantaged parts of the world might not have been possible under the proposed restricted core values.

As a result, I do not see what current problem we are fixing, and I do not like the implications of the changes on our ability to be a good custodian of the domain name space and to support less developed economies in benefiting from the Internet as many of us in the west and north have.


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