There has been a large amount of FUD generated in the last week regarding the ICANN VeriSign settlement. It seems that most that I have seen has been coming from name registrars, and notably the blog of Bob Parson (founder and president of GoDaddy).
It seems that Bob is trying to encourage people to write to their congressmen to get involved and squash the deal. I find this interesting that this post is from last Wednesday (2/15/06) while the deal was penned sometime prior to October 24, 2005. If this is such a big deal why did it take Bob so long to respond?
Most of the FUD is along the lines of an evil empire-type scheme to raise the prices for .com registration so VeriSign can fill their coffers with the money of the poor, down-trodden netizens. This is, of course, based on the pricing information in section 7.3.d which states:
Maximum Price. The Maximum Price for Registry Services subject to this Paragraph 7.3 shall be as follows:
- from the Effective Date through 31 December 2006, US$6.00;
- for each calendar year beginning with 1 January 2007, the smaller of the preceding year’s Maximum Price or the highest price charged during the preceding year, multiplied by 1.07.
Does this mean that VeriSign is going to rush out raise the price as much as possible? No. VeriSign is a solid, reputable company that has been in the market long enough to know how to set (and if need be raise) prices in a manner that will not negatively impact the market.
ICANN was never meant to be a regulator, but a coordinating body. I’m sure that Paul Twomey and Vinton Cerf knew what they were doing in setting up this deal. For a more logical look at the implications check out this article by Keith Teare from November 30, 2005, or look at the documents yourself and make your own decisions.