VeriSign settles lawsuit filed by rival registrar

Internet domain name registrar Go Daddy Software announced yesterday that it has settled a false advertising lawsuit against much...

Internet domain name registrar Go Daddy Software announced yesterday that it has settled a false advertising lawsuit against much rival VeriSign.

The lawsuit, filed in June, charged that VeriSign sent deceptive domain name renewal notices to some of Go Daddy's customers.

The notices allegedly encouraged the customers to renew their domain names with VeriSign or risk losing them. But Go Daddy claimed that the "reply by" dates on the notices did not correlate with any actual registration expiry dates.

A judge ordered VeriSign to stop sending the notices shortly after the suit was filed, but Go Daddy said at the time that it was proceeding with the case in an attempt to collect damages from VeriSign.

The financial terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, according to Christine Jones, Go Daddy's general counsel. Jones said that as part of the deal, customers who switched to VeriSign after receiving notices from that company would be given the option of transferring their registrations back to Go Daddy at no cost. But she would not say which company would pick up the transfer costs.

Go Daddy said VeriSign, the largest domain name registrar, had also agreed to never again send such notices to its customers or to customers of other registrars. "We were looking for fair play and to protect our customers, and we got it," said Go Daddy president Bob Parsons.

Similar suits were filed against VeriSign by and InterCosmos Media Group, which owns the domain name registration Web site.'s suit was settled in August. It said that it would reimburse any of its customers who were hurt financially by the VeriSign campaign.

The InterCosmos suit, which was filed in July, is also close to being settled, according to chief executive officer Sigmund Solares, who said that settlement terms were being negotiated. "We are waiting on the agreement from VeriSign now. So it looks like the case will not be tried."

A VeriSign spokesman confirmed that the company had settled the lawsuits with Go Daddy and, but he declined to disclose the details of the settlement agreements. The spokesman added that he did not have any information about the status of the InterCosmos suit.

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