ICANN ICANN Email List Archives


<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

A Comment on the .NET auto-renew, against public interest on competition policy grounds

  • To: net-agreement-renewal@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: A Comment on the .NET auto-renew, against public interest on competition policy grounds
  • From: Eric Brunner-Williams <ebw@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 10 May 2011 10:08:37 -0400

The statement of ICANN's position, "ICANN's gTLD registry agreements provide for presumptive renewal so long as certain requirements are met", fails to distinguish between legacy contracts, established before ICANN's existence, and contracts entered into subsequent to the 2001 and 2004 rounds of the new gTLD process, and prospective contracts from any continuation of ICANN's new gTLD process.

This is unfortunate as there are substantive differences of market power exercised by the holder of pre-ICANN registry agreements, and the holders of ICANN registry agreements, and one of ICANN's core public purposes arose from a competition policy goal, which necessitates distinguishing between actors in a market with market power and actors lacking market power.

It is also unfortunate as it negates the public policy purpose in having conducted two open, objective competitions for re-delegations in 2002 and 2004, however problematic each of those were. It is worth noting that one act of redelegation accomplished more in one year than ten years of awarding new registry contracts has towards realization of those original competition policy goals.

The public interest in stability and predictability for new registry operators is self-evident. None of the 2001 round and subsequent operators, with the possible exceptions of the .INFO registry, and the certain exception of the .CAT registry, are clearly "viable" as is after almost 10, respectively 5, years of operation.

Where there is a clear pattern of mismanagement, as there has been for several years for the .TRAVEL registry, and currently for the .JOBS registry, and as there was in the initial years of the .BIZ registry operations, corrective action, including non-renewal and competitive re-delegation, or temporary "fail-over" operations, are appropriate.

Absent those circumstances, re-award of a limited term operating contract is commercially reasonable, perhaps even necessary.

However, where the contract has been held for more than three five year periods, the presumption of re-award absent adverse circumstances is incompatible with the original, and continuous, competition policy goal.

Eric Brunner-Williams
Unaffiliated Member Representative
North American Regional At Large Organization
At Large Advisory Group

<<< Chronological Index >>>    <<< Thread Index >>>

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Cookies Policy