Dot org registry nearly sold to an investment firm


Through the media, we heard the disturbing news that a private company has taken over the management of the .org domain and, as a result of this, the limitations on the prices of the domain name are lifted. This means that a .org domain name could become a lot more expensive in the very near future.

We are advising our clients and everyone who owns a .org domain to renew as soon as possible. The .org domain management has been taken over by a private company. Previous price limitations are no longer in effect. Therefore we recommend renewing registration of all .org domain names.

Because we can’t predict if, how much and when the price will rise, we recommend that our customers with a .org domain have this renewed as quickly as possible, for 10 years.

We share some background information via this article, in English or this one in Dutch.

UPDATE since May 2020

ICANN, the body that oversees the domain name system on the internet, has blocked the sale due to the lack of transparency of the candidate-buyer. The .org domain remains managed by the non-profit Public Interest Registry and will not be sold to the private equity firm named Ethos Capital. Concerns arose that the company could raise fees, censor domains or act against their interests after acquiring the management of all .org domain names. The firm also declined to reveal who is involved as an investor or director, which also led to much concern and questions.

Bottom line: "The public interest is better served in withholding consent as a result of various factors that create unacceptable uncertainty over the future of the third-largest [generic top-level domain] registry,” ICANN stated.

To be continued, because other attempts to take over the Public Interest Registry may follow.

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