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Competition and pricing

  • To: com-renewal@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Competition and pricing
  • From: Danny Pryor - Rodan Media <dtp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2012 10:58:41 -0400

While Verisign has deftly managed the registries under their aegis, permitting 
a renewal of their contract without a competitive bidding process is an 
improper course.

Further, it is incumbent upon ICANN to ascertain the whether there is a gulf 
between profitability and profiteering. Verisign has no apparent reason to 
raise prices on domain name registrations when its current profit margins are, 
for eight of the past 10 quarters, are very healthy. Cleary, Verisign is 
enjoying a satisfactory margin.

While there may be unexpected costs associated with managing registries in the 
future, I would challenge ICANN to justify why a 7% increase in four of the 
next six years would be permissible. Is it expected ICANN may grant similar 
flexibility to other registries, when their contracts reach their term for 
renewal? If not, why permit this clause?

We understand there have been times, during the past 11 years, when Verisign 
has suffered major declines in profit margins, but are those directly tied to 
managing the registries under their control or are other factors at work. The 
most recent, significant declines appear to have happened in the fourth quarter 
2007 and the second and third quarters of 2008. However, I would challenge any 
company to present sound fiscal data from those time periods, regardless of 
their industry.

To be succinct, the lack of competitive bidding and the wide latitude in 
pricing granted Verisign could be construed as a violation of the trust between 
ICANN, the business community and the people trusting ICANN to represent the 
interests of fairness and accountability. 

Your consideration of the foregoing is appreciated.

Danny Pryor
Rodan Media Group


PO Box 30136
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