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Re: [ga] DC hearing on new TLDs at 10 am today (September 23rd)

  • To: GNSO GA Mailing List <ga@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [ga] DC hearing on new TLDs at 10 am today (September 23rd)
  • From: George Kirikos <gkirikos@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 23 Sep 2009 08:06:21 -0700 (PDT)


--- On Wed, 9/23/09, Antony Van Couvering <avc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Heath of INTA says
> that trademark holders care about consumers, and wants
> another economic study (presumably until they get the
> results they want).

Not at all. Here's the reason the economic studies were ordered:

(1) Registry operators (.biz/info/org) tried to "pull a fast one" by having 
price caps entirely eliminated on their contracts, to the detriment of 
consumers, in 2006. See:


(2) The community rose up against that blatant greed by the registry operators. 
Here's ICANN's own summary:


Or one can read the raw comments at:


(3) That's why the Board ordered the economic studies at:


Notice words like:

"specially concerning competition-related issues such as differential pricing"
"to address competition-related issues such as differential pricing."
"whether the domain registration market is one market or whether each TLD 
functions as a separate market,
"whether registrations in different TLDs are substitutable,
what are the effects on consumer and pricing behavior of the switching costs 
involved in moving from one TLD to another,
what is the effect of the market structure and pricing on new TLD entrants, and
whether there are other markets with similar issues, and if so how are these 
issues addressed and by who?"

(4) It's likely ICANN that can't find any reputable firm to justify its own 
poor policy choices after 3 years. Notice ICANN has eliminated price caps in 
their drafts, despite this issue having been decided 3 years ago. It's clear 
ICANN is in bed with the registry operators, and the wanna-be registry 
operators. They've refused to talk about switching costs (even though I 
challenged them directly in the comments to the Carlton report).

As I've written elsewhere (see comments):


"A large number of people don’t get their “first choice” of seats when
Britney Spears or U2 have concerts. That doesn’t mean we build 8000
concert halls in Toronto so that different people can sit in the front
row on 8000 different nights. New TLDs are like building stadiums with
a capacity of 50,000 people where only 100 people sit in the front
row, but 49,900 seats sit empty. The “consumer demand” is only for
those 100 seats. New TLD advocates want everyone else to subsidize
their 50,000 seat palaces (that subsidy being the consumer confusion,
abuse, etc. via externalities) so that they can auction off those 100
seats. That’s not a business model that works in the real world, nor
should it work in ICANN’s fantasy world."

In conclusion, it's clear the new TLD advocates are prepared to "say anything" 
in order to get their way. That's not sound policy-making in the public 


George Kirikos

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