ICANN accused of taking bribe + .com price increase
Last month, ICANN, the organization that oversees domain names, announced significant changes to the contract it has with Verisign, Inc. who operate the .COM top-level-domain (TLD).
ICANN made these changes in secret, without consulting or incorporating feedback from the ICANN community or Internet users. Although ICANN has a history of making similar deals behind closed doors, and also of ignoring unified opposition against such action, we are focused on leading the fight against price increases that will harm our customers (and the Internet as a whole). This is a crucial time to raise our voices given that .COM domains make up 40% of all registered domain names online.
Wholesale registries charge Namecheap a set fee per domain name per year. According to this new agreement, Verisign will be allowed to increase the wholesale price to registrars for .COM domains every year for 8 out of the next 10 years, and the increases don’t stop there.
This will mean that .COM wholesale domain prices can grow by more than 70% over and above current prices over the next decade. The contract also allows for other price increases, which could drive prices up further, ultimately making .COM domains less accessible and more expensive for everybody.