Feeds

EC opens investigation into dotcom contract

ICANN put under anti-trust eye

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?