[Comments-com-amendment-3-03jan20] Proposed .com price increases

Hale Turner trafficastic at gmail.com
Mon Feb 10 22:59:12 UTC 2020

I understand that ICANN has made changes in secret without consulting or
incorporating feedback from the ICANN community or Internet users -
regarding price increases for .com domains over the next decade.
.com domains make up 40% of all registered domains on the internet.
Proposed price increases could add 70% to current prices.
With other price increases, this could make .com domains inaccessible for
many people and more expensive for everyone else.

Alongside these contract changes, Verisign has agreed to pay ICANN an
additional $20 million dollars over five years to support ICANN's domain
name system initiatives, without any clarity about how ICANN will spend the
money, or who will ensure that the funds are properly spent on domain
ICANN was created in part to introduce competition between domain name
*but now ICANN itself is at the heart of the problem, without considering
any input from Internet users on these critical decisions. *

*The four issues of concern are:*
1. Price increases for .com domains

2. ICANN will receive an extra $20 million to support ICANN’s initiatives
regarding the security and stability of the domain name system. There is no
explanation why Verisign did this, how ICANN will spend the money, or who
will ensure that the funds are properly spent.

3. Verisign can act as a domain registrar. The new contract will allow
Verisign to operate its own registrar, except for selling .COM domain names
itself. To circumvent this, it is also possible that Verisign could act as
a reseller of .COM domains, through another registrar. This result is that
the company that controls almost 80% of the registrar pricing for domain
names will compete directly with all domain registrars, maximizing its
control of domain name pricing to the detriment of other competing
registrars. While this might result in lower prices to consumers, *fewer
registrars will harm competition, choice, and domain name services. *

Verisign’s registrar could also use its dominant position to charge higher
prices to consumers, while at the same time raising registrar prices.

4. ICANN ignored previous comments regarding price controls for the .ORG,
.INFO, and .BIZ TLDs.

The proposed .com price increases will have a significant negative impact
on internet users/ domain owners. It is important that there is
transparency with the industry regarding price hikes and potentially
reducing choice and domain services. There needs to be adequate
consultation with the key groups who will be negatively impacted by this


Haley Turner
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