Domain price increases : Gave ICANN a piece of my mind, and so should you

Domain prices increase, and that’s a fact of the industry’s regulatory direction.

A contract renewal by ICANN has given extensive rights to Verisign, managers of the .com and .net TLDs, to jack up prices at rates unseen before.

Normally, ICANN is expected to regulate prices so that the public’s interest in domain names is safeguarded. Alas, the latest .com contract opens the bag of Aeolus, and Verisign won’t blink twice before increasing the .com prices as seen fit by its shareholders.

So how much does a Registry spend to operate its domain name space?

Estimates on the infrastructure and management cost vary between $2.50 to $2.90 per domain name, per year. The current base price that Verisign charges is $7.85. On top of this, ICANN gets $0.18 and therefore $8.03 dollars is what a Registrar would charge to break even.

Since Registrars must make a profit, the actual cost to the consumer is higher, and it varies on a number of parameters.

However, no Registrar that wants to compete would charge an additional amount close to the base price by Verisign. If a domain Registrar were to add e.g. $7.00 to the price, that final $15.03 price would be seen as non-competitive among other Registrars, that operate on penny profits. This clearly shows how huge the Verisign profit is.

Currently, ICANN is receiving comments on the Verisign price increase, and the ICA has created a tool that automates part of the process.

The tool plugs in the correct email address and subject line, along with a checklist of several reasons why someoneĀ  – a domain investor or a consumer – would oppose to the price increase. It makes it easy to compose the email, which can then be submitted via your email software.

I used the ICA tool to compose and then customize that email note to ICANN. I signed it and sent it out, and a few minutes later I received an automated reply notifying me of the email’s receipt:

Thank you for participating in public comment. Your submission has been received. Your submission will appear in the proceeding archive after the mailing list moderator approves the request. Please contact with any questions.

I believe that it’s important that everyone in the domain industry contacts ICANN to oppose this unjustified price increase that’ll give Verisign the opportunity to reap huge profits.

Click here to use the ICA tool.


  1. I just submitted a comment. There is simply no valid justification for this price increase.


  2. Verisign also pay ICANN fee. An additional 15 cent.

    Verisign get 7.6 USD while ICANN .43 in total.

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