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ICANN to hire economic consultants to study competition issues

  • To: ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: ICANN to hire economic consultants to study competition issues
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2006 21:34:12 -0700 (PDT)


The adopted resolutions of today's Board meeting were just released:


They're going to hire an outside economic consulting firm to answer
various competition related questions. Until one sees the report, it's
unclear whether this is good or bad. One can hire "experts" to say the
world is flat these days....

However, given that they seem to continue to plan to give presumptive
renewal to the existing registry operators, I don't see this
development as a positive. On the bright side, they didn't approve the
existing proposed contracts, yet.

Any economic consultant should study whether consumers would experience
lower prices if the registry contracts were regularly re-tendered,
compared to having presumptive renewal, and what the optimal contract
length would (i.e. 3 years, 5 years, 8 years, etc.).

Ultimately, ICANN is making this decision more difficult and complex
than it should be. It's obvious that the maximum public benefit would
occur if the contracts were of fixed term, and given to the lowest
bidder for a tender with a baseline of operational
standards/specifications. Countless government and private contracts
are bid in this exact same manner, everything from supplying
paperclips, to outsourcing of call centres, to plane orders. Any other
solution is not optimal for the public, and begs the question "Why?"

Using Google as our friend, one can see pages about procurement like:


and see how many strategic rules and principles ICANN would break, in
failing to reach an optimal solution in its procurement, should it have
approved the proposed contracts (and process) to date. Presumptive
renewal, where the suppliers get to set their own prices, would be
laughed at as a proposed procurement strategy. That's simply a giveaway
to the suppliers, and no sane and accountable organization would adopt 
-- they'd be canned on the spot by their superiors.


George Kirikos

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