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Granting Monopolies Unlimited and Unfair Domain Price Increases Doesn't Make Sense

  • To: biz-tld-agreement@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Granting Monopolies Unlimited and Unfair Domain Price Increases Doesn't Make Sense
  • From: joe@xxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2006 15:47:38 +0000

To the ICANN Board,
As part of the new registry contract terms shown at 
http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-2-28jul06.htm it is stated that 
you are "Lifting... Price Controls...".  Why would you allow that?  No price 
limits at all in an industry where costs of providing services are coming down 
every year?  With all due respect, this casts a suspicious pall over the ICANN 
board and does not make sense.
Since domain names have become so important to the identities of businesses and 
non-profits as a whole and since registries fall under the category of natural 
monopolies, this sets a dangerous precedent that puts registries in the 
position of being able to abuse that power.
Businesses and non-profits spend considerable time and dollars promoting their 
domain names and they can't buy their particular domain name from any other 
registry once they have chosen which domain name to use and promote.  
So once you give a registry exclusive rights to operate a top level domain, it 
is not proper to grant them unlimited power to raise prices.  
Natural market forces are a good thing, and the fact that a healthy aftermarket 
has developed in domain names is a good sign for the Internet and for the 
Internet industry
History has proven however, that giving unnatural and unlimited pricing power 
to monopolies is unhealthy for any industry.  The operation of a registry in a 
top level domain is a natural monopoly and should have reasonable controls, 
especially when it comes to pricing.  
One could argue that a registrant can easily go to another top level domain and 
so a registry is not a monopoly, but that argument does not hold water. The 
cost of promoting most domain names and the importance of the brand to the long 
term basic existence of any business or non-profit is too high.  So to give 
these natural monopolies unlimited power to raise their prices on generic top 
level domains brings about the potential for gross injustices and problems for 
ICANN in the future.
I would like to ask you to change any provision that allows unlimited price 
raises for generic top level domains by a monopoly registry.  Please change 
this so as to limit potential price increases by any registry that is given the 
privilege to run a generic top level domain.  It is better NOT to leave that to 
chance on such an important public resource. 
Joe Alagna

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