Wholesale price for .com domains could hit $10.29 by 2016

Why should registry costs increase 7% a year?

ICANN has published a proposed agreement to renew the .com contract with VeriSign.

As expected, the agreement allows VeriSign to hike prices 7% in four of the next six years. This is similar to the current contract.

Under the terms of the proposed contract, VeriSign’s take for each .com registration in 2012 is $7.85 per year. That doesn’t include ICANN’s current “tax” of 18 cents per year.

The company can increase fees 7% in four of the next six years. That means by 2016 the wholesale price exclusive of ICANN’s fees could be $10.29, or a 31% increase over today’s fees.

ICANN VeriSign would pocket over $1 billion a year for running the .com registry.

Surely if it was sent out to competitive bid this would be done for about $200 million or so a year. But that’s not going to happen.

Why VeriSign runs .net at $5.11 a year but so much more for .com, with almost 10x as many domains, just doesn’t make sense.

Like I’ve said many times, don’t blame VeriSign for this. They’re brilliant. Blame ICANN.


  1. Ron says

    Well start charging it on your sales people, people like Andrew Reyberry are bringing average domain prices domain faster than you can yell timber. Once they are sold, no dividends, that asset is gone.

  2. Adam says

    Hey Ron. Why do you turn every thread about anything domain related in to Andrew Reberry blah blah. Go buy all his domains if he’s selling them all too cheap . please stop the astroturfing.

    • says

      @ Kevin Murphy – yes. And ICANN settled with VeriSign b/c it believed it had do at that point, which means it messed up some time earlier by not anticipating the contract issues with VeriSign.

  3. rk says

    This is a monopoly.

    dot-com prices should be like $2-$3 per domain and the registry will still make lots of money on over 100 million domains registered.

    Can ICANN be forced to put this contact for open bidding?

    So is there a chance that someone will prevent this new agreement from being implemented?

    US Gov
    Other Gov’s.
    Some big companies in domaining space, etc?

  4. John says

    What exactly do all these yearly increases pay for? All these new extensions are not needed as well. They need to be better regulated.

  5. Meyer says

    Icann is looking at making hundreds of millions from the new tlds.

    Why should Icann get distracted by conducting the fiduciary responsibility for which they were created?

    Isn’t Verisign’s motto –
    “If you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”.

  6. net catalyst says

    The only way, apparently, to get any ‘action’ from US Govt is to organize an online protest….like the protest that got SOPA waylaid; despite having been all but signed, sealed and delivered to the Hollywood and Recording Industry.

    Given the number of domains registered that are subject to the unreasonably high domain registry fee / and automatic 7% ‘kicker’ irrespective of reasonable basis – I would think that given ICANN’s sensitivities to international efforts to reign in its powers, a wide ranging protest could help motivate ICANN and US Govt to pay more attention to the issue.

    Just a thought …. net catalyst
    happen to have the url: netcatalyst.org available for such proposed action (g)

  7. says

    Andrew, if this trend holds, we’ll see wholesale registration prices touching $15.5 in a decade. Adding profit margins for registrar, it could hit $20 within a decade pretty quickly. This is going to make speculative registrations a lot harder to manage.

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