The European Commission is being asked to investigate a proposed domain names contract between international registry body ICANN and “.com” registrar VeriSign, over allegations that it is anti-competitive.
The Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT) has filed the complaint claiming the contract breaches European law and US anti-trust rules. It has also filed a lawsuit over the contract in the US.
CFIT claims the contract effectively gives VeriSign permanent control over the .com registry and that it gives the registrar the ability to raise registration and renewal charges 7% a year.
The contract also gives VeriSign the right to acquire expired domains for re-sale. Some of the backers of CFIT are involved in the domain name re-sale industry, so their interests here are particularly affected.
ICANN is still consulting over the proposed contract and has claimed that CFIT is acting out of self-interest.
Registrations for the new “.eu” domain name start later this week.