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Open .Com Contract To Competitive Bidding

  • To: com-renewal@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Open .Com Contract To Competitive Bidding
  • From: Michael Berkens <mike@xxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Apr 2012 10:35:08 -0400

We oppose the renewal of the Dot Com contract with Verisign, instead the 
contract should be put out for competitive bidding.

In the best interest of the general public, the consumer they should be getting 
the best price possible for the service of running the .com registry.

In the new gTLD program most of the backend providers including Verisign are 
offering to run new registries for as low as $2 a domain up to $4 a domain with 
no annual price increases.

Some backend providers are offering to run as many domains as a new registry 
may have for one fix annual price.

The reason back end providers including Verisign are willing to offer pricing 
to run new Registries for amounts much lower than Verisign is getting to run 
the .com registry is competition.

As we know the current contract with Verisign was issues on a no bid basis and 
not only grants Verisign a Monopoly in running the dot com registry but also 
guarantees them a rate increase of 7% in every for out of 6 years without a 
need of showing increased costs.

There is no company in the United States that has a contract with any 
governmental body, nor is there any regulated utility that has a contract which 
guarantees a compounded  rate increase ongoing without any showing of increased 

As we know the inflation has been around 1% in the past years of the current 
contract which allowed Verisign to increase rates by 7% compounded in 4 of the 
last 6 years and that Verisign elected in fact to raise its rates as allowed by 
the contract.

It would only serve the public to open up the contract to completive bidding 
process of which Verisign should be invited to bid.

According to ICANN own documents:

"ICANN was formed to foster user choice, consumer trust and competition in the 
domain name system (DNS) marketplace"

""ICANN operates on the basic premise that competition law throughout the world 
is based upon, which is that increased competition is almost always valuable in 
order to stimulate innovation and consumer benefits.""

""ICANN’s mission statement and one of its founding principles is to promote 
user choice, consumer trust and competition. ICANN has created significant 
competition at the registrar level, which has resulted in enormous benefits for 
consumers, including dramatically lower prices for second level domain names 
and considerable innovation in the registrar community. To date, however, ICANN 
has not enabled any meaningful competition at the registry level. ""


If ICANN whole existence is based on competition in the domain name system then 
how can ICANN grant a contract to run the largest registry in the world to one 
company without opening such contract up to competition?

ICANN needs to follow its own charter and open the Dot Com contract up for bids 
by other qualified companies.


Michael Berkens
Worldwide Media, Inc.

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