Feeds

EC opens investigation into dotcom contract

ICANN put under anti-trust eye

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The European Commission has opened an investigation into the new dotcom contract following a formal complaint by a lobbying group calling itself the Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT).

According to CFIT, the proposed contract drawn up between internet-overseeing organisation ICANN and registrar VeriSign breaches EU competition laws. It will have "significant anti-competitive effects in markets for domain name registration and for related Internet services which depend on these domain registrations," CFIT argues in the letter to the EC's Competition Directorate.

In particular, CFIT claims, it breaches Articles 81 and 82 of the EC Treaty which prohibit agreements that reduce consumer welfare by providing the ability to raise prices, reduce choice or undermine innovation.

The letter follows lawsuits lodged in California earlier this week that claim the contract also breaks US anti-trust laws.

Changes in the proposed contract will see VeriSign handed effective control of the dotcom registry in perpetuity. VeriSign will also be entitled to increase what it charges for domains by seven percent a year.

ICANN's response so far has been to dismiss the legal threats as an attempt to influence the public comment process that the contract is currently going through at its meeting here in Vancouver. ICANN general counsel John Jeffrey also told us that it did not consider the lawsuits as legitimate public comment.

That response was supported in part by Ross Rader of registrar Tucows, one of the most outspoken critics of the new contract. He told a meeting in Vancouver on Thursday that he was "not completely supportive" of the litigation.

However, there is no denying that the CFIT's professional lobbying effort is having an impact both on delegates and the wider internet community. What remains unanswered is who precisely is funding CFIT. For a body that even includes transparency in its name, CFIT remains suspiciously opaque.

Our rough estimation is that it has already spent $200,000 on the lobbying effort so far, and it shows no signs of stopping. And yet the only contributor to come forward, Pool.com, simply does not have the resources to fund the whole effort. Its CEO, Tony Farrow, also confirmed to us that the company had put nowhere near our estimated figure into the organisation. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'
PM urged to 'prioritise issue' after Facebook hindsight find
Assange™ slumps back on Ecuador's sofa after detention appeal binned
Swedish court rules there's 'great risk' WikiLeaker will dodge prosecution
NSA mass spying reform KILLED by US Senators
Democrats needed just TWO more votes to keep alive bill reining in some surveillance
'Internet Freedom Panel' to keep web overlord ICANN out of Russian hands – new proposal
Come back with our internet! cries Republican drawing up bill
What a Mesa: Apple vows to re-use titsup GT sapphire glass plant
Commits to American manufacturing ... of secret tech
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.