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[council] differential domain pricing

  • To: <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: [council] differential domain pricing
  • From: Bret Fausett <bfausett@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Aug 2006 14:45:38 -0700
  • Cc: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • In-reply-to: <44EC8530.8050403@tucows.com>
  • Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Thread-index: AcbG/Xiot1VoxjLwEduxiwAWy8lN5Q==
  • Thread-topic: differential domain pricing
  • User-agent: Microsoft-Entourage/

On 8/23/06 9:41 AM, "Ross Rader" <ross@xxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> And keep in mind that I'm not arguing against your view, I'm simply
> stating that a) I hope you are wrong and b) you should be wrong and c)
> that an ICANN that thinks you are right is completely and totally out of
> touch with reality.

If it's taught us nothing else, the history of ICANN has shown that what
"should" be the rule rarely matters when contract language is susceptible to
more than one interpretation. Examples of industry players exploiting
supposed grey areas in ICANN contract language are plentiful: the marketing
of .NET to everyone in the world, sitefinder, sale of .PRO names to everyone
in the world, Tralliance "flipping" .TRAVEL the day it signed its ICANN
contract, domain name tasting, registrars stockpiling names by not deleting
their customers' expiring registrations, etc.

The concern about differential pricing is justified. Perhaps registry to
registry competition can prevent sharp practices in the markets for *new*
registrations, but it does nothing to protect registrants from such
practices when it comes to their renewals. I'm less concerned that a
registry might pick out a handful of domains for extraordinary pricing than
I am about a registry raising prices across the board for older names. For
example, would anything prevent the following: renewal for names first
registered before 1996 are $1000/yr., names before 2000 are $500/yr., names
before 2004 are $100/yr....you get the picture. This would be classic
monopolist behavior; the monopolist charges competitive rates in the area in
which it has competition (i.e. new registrations) and adopts monopolistic
pricing in the area in which it has locked in customers (i.e., renewals).

I'd rather see ICANN lock down the pricing language that wait until someone
does something that hurts registrants, so we then have to argue about what
"should" happen. 

        -- Bret

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