ICANN continues to cause controversy with registrars. Last week, the organization announced that it will allow Verisign, the company that administers all .com domains, to increase its pricing on the domain over 70 percent in the next decade. This follows ICANN’s decision last summer to lift price caps on .org domains, which is currently being investigated by the Attorney General’s office of California.
This decision has long term effects for domain registrars, who have no choice but to work with Verisign in order to register domains for users. Namecheap in particular has been extremely vocal about the decision. In a blog post detailing his concerns with the decision, Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall called out ICANN and Verisign for making the changes “without consulting or incorporating feedback from the ICANN community or Internet users” and promised that Namecheap would continue fighting against these changes.
Timothy B. Lee at Ars Technica explained the changes further, detailing how the price could increase for a .com domain from $7.85/year to $13.49/year by 2030, not including any other fees domain registrars throw on top. “That would represent a massive windfall for Verisign because according to Namecheap, there are more than 140 million .com domain names registered. So Verisign would reap more than $500 million in additional revenue, each year, for running the .com registration database.”
ICANN is taking public comments on the proposed increases until February 14, 2020.