European Commission called on to investigate proposed .com deal

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 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 that the contract breaches both European law and US antitrust rules. It has also filed a lawsuit over the contract in the US.

Cfit has claimed 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 by up to 7% a year.

The contract also gives VeriSign the right to acquire expired domains for resale. Some of the backers of Cfit are involved in the domain name resale industry, so their interests 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 began last week.

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