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ICANN Vindicated Over Allegations Of Anticompetitive Behaviour

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

18 November 2003


The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) welcomed a ruling, released last week, which dismissed charges filed against it by two domain name registrars, accusing it of engaging in anticompetitive practices.

The charges were filed over ICANN's decision earlier this year to hand over the management of expired .com and .net domain names, known as the Wait-Listing Service (WLS), to online security firm, Verisign.

The aggrieved registrars argued that the creation of such a list - which would create a single 'backorder' list of customers waiting for domain names to expire, and would effectively eliminate competition between registrars in this area - was in violation of ICANN's terms of agreement with registrars, and would afford Verisign's own domain name registration firm, Network Solutions, an unfair advantage.

However, the Los Angeles federal court ruled on Thursday that the move did not constitute a breach of the public trust, or of US competition law.

"Accordingly, it appears that the implementation of the WLS has the potential to benefit registries, registrars who do not currently offer wait listing services, and most importantly the public," the court announced.


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