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Existing gTLD Registries Want More and More

  • To: <crai-report@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Existing gTLD Registries Want More and More
  • From: "Max Menius" <mmeniusjr@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 22 Dec 2008 18:18:32 -0500

Dear ICANN Board - 

In reference to ICANN's constant challenge regulating registry monopolies, 
George Kirikos suggests on Dec 15 that a competitive tender process would 
promote reasonable and fair pricing in the global domain marketplace. 
Reasonable and fair pricing are critical to the business community, but seem to 
be of little interest these days to existing gTLD registries.

There appears to be a determined agenda at work with various registries 
jockeying to position themselves for an uncapped pricing bonanza. These 
proposed new gTLD discussions have existing registries salivating at the 
prospect of boosting their revenues at the expense of existing gTLD customers. 
The per domain cost for a registry is a fairly finite amount as accurately 
reflected year after year in fixed price renewals. ICANN must not allow 
existing gTLD registry agreements to be modified such that existing registries 
are allowed to adopt unregulated pricing. 

Whatever pseudo rationale is offered by existing gTLD registries, the community 
of existing gTLD customers will not allow registries to "work the system" to 
boost their coffers at registrants' expense. Existing registry agreements for 
(com-net-biz-info-org) should be maintained as is. ICANN should not allow 
itself to be cornered, pressured, or manipulated by existing gTLD registries 
who want uncapped pricing rewritten into their existing registry agreements. 

Jeff Neuman (Neustar, Inc.) writes in his Dec 15 comments on the Guidebook and 
CRAI Report ... 

"In the event that price caps are not included for the new gTLDs, NeuStar 
believes that price caps must be removed from the .biz registry agreement. 
NeuStar asserts that the only reason .biz is under a price cap is because it is 
one of the existing gTLDs. There was never any market analysis done to 
determine whether .biz should be under a price cap." 

Market analysis? Let's survey the individual and business registrants of the 
over 2 millions .biz domain names currently in use. That's no small footprint. 
How many of them would vote for uncapped pricing? How many of the 2 million + 
stakeholders would vote to give Neustar carte blanche over their domain renewal 
price? It has been said many times. Existing gTLD's have thrived, and survived, 
on the backs (and wallets) of the current stakeholders. Those who invested in 
gTLD's years ago are the ones who deserve ICANN's consideration, not registries 
who entered into a clear fixed price agreement but who now want unjustified & 
unregulated price increases. 

ICANN have an opportunity, and a responsibility, to regulate registries such 
that stakeholders are protected from registry price gouging. Registries are 
convinced that ICANN can be bought, or pressured. Domain registrants certainly 
hope not. 

Thank you for considering my comments.

Max Menius
Menius Enterprises, Inc.
Greensboro, NC, USA

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