One of the largest ICANN-accredited domain name registrars has filed a Reconsideration Request (pdf) with ICANN over its decision to remove price caps in its renewed contracts for .org and .info domain names.
Namecheap filed the request as a party that will be adversely affected by uncontrolled price increases. It also says it’s filing on behalf of domain registrants.
The complaint outlines what many people have already stated: removing price caps from legacy TLDs adds extreme uncertainty to domain registrants, switching costs for domains are high, and ICANN seemingly ignored public input. The company wrote:
Namecheap is submitting this reconsideration request to protect the rights and interests of Namecheap’s customers and the entire internet community. Price caps for legacy TLDs have been an integral longstanding foundation for the domain name marketplace, and removing them will result in uncertainty and confusion at a minimum, and in the worst case, increased costs for domain registrants worldwide.
I suspect that legal action or an antitrust lawsuit will be required to get ICANN to actually reverse course.
Based on the timing of the filing, it’s possible that ICANN’s board will have to vote on the Board Accountability Mechanism Committee’s recommendation on the request at the end of the ICANN meeting in Montreal this November. I’m sure the price hikes will be a big discussion during that meeting.
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