RE: [gnso-vi-feb10] Single Registrant TLDs
- To: Avri Doria <avri@xxxxxxx>, "Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx" <Gnso-vi-feb10@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: RE: [gnso-vi-feb10] Single Registrant TLDs
- From: Milton L Mueller <mueller@xxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 09:58:46 -0400
> Allowing all nGTLD applicants to bypass the registrar system would
>effectively lead us back to the domain business we had a decade
>ago, which is IMHO definitely not in the interest of the consumer.
No, it wouldn't. The domain business of 12 years ago had ONE registry,
operating all gTLDs.
In that environment, and given the political stalemate on adding new gTLDs, the
best and probably only way to introduce competition was to separate the
registry from the retail registrar, cap the price of the registry and allow
competition to take place.
In the current system we are talking about NEW gTLDs being given more flexible
business models. It is a well-established fact that new TLDs are inherently
handicapped relative to new ones, and must compete hard to get new business, so
the idea that they can dominate the market or abuse consumers and need the same
protections as 1998-vintage NSI is pretty unrealistic.
>I have heard different theories about whether the current modality
>has helped consumers or whether it was even necessary -
>so leaving aside for the moment the subject of whether it helps or
>hinders innovation and creativity, please show evidence for the
>ways in which having separate Registrars has benefited consumers.
The massive decline in price (from $50/year to $20 or less),
Improvements in service relative to where we were 1999-2000, rise of GoDaddy
because of its ease of service delivery
Lowered consumer switching costs
NSI/VeriSign's rapid loss of market share, from 100% to 30%
all these are what you would expect of a successful movement from a
monopolistic to competitive market. all that was missing was competition at the
The Ry-Rr split is a pretty good and successful solution for a market dominated
by one registry. Once there are a host of registries offering a wide range of
new TLDs it makes little sense for the newcomers in the market.
>For example, have there been cases where a registry lowered its
>fees, and the regisrar did not in turn lower theirs to the consumer
>but absorbd the profit?
This doesn't prove much in the overall picture. One case? Did they gain or lose
market share as a result?
>I also am not sure I understand how any middleman who ads to
>the price, benefits users unless they are offering some value add
>service. So what service have the registrars aded that was not
>doable by the Registries, especially now that registries have
>effectively split into registry service providers (RSP) and registry
>owners (RO) and we have full service resellers.
It's about putting all your eggs in one basket or not. If you are lucky, the Ry
offers perfect service to all segments of the market and in principle its costs
are low. If not, you are SOL. Even if the service is good, usually there is
room for niching (think, knowledge of local market, local language) that makes
everyone better off by having an additional sales channel.
Registrars allow an escape valve from bad retail service. Or they may just
provide more convenient service.
Very few manufacturers of consumer products (let's say Apple, HP as examples)
restrict their retail outlets to their own, vertically integrated outlets.
Almost all of them try to leverage other channels even when they have their
own. Same is true of many ccTLD registries who use registrars even though they
don't have to.