Domain Name Wire

Domain Name Wire

  • VeriSign is backend for 220 new TLD applicants and applies for 14 itself

    1. BY - Apr 26, 2012
    2. Uncategorized
    3. 4 Comments

    VeriSign releases numbers related to its new TLD plans.

    VeriSign released earnings today along with numbers related to its new top level domain aspirations.

    The company said it applied for 14 new top level domain names including 12 transliterations of .com and .net. Although not mentioned in the release, you can expect some of those transliterations are in Japanese, Hangul, Chinese, Cyrillic, Arabic, and Hebrew. I’m very curious what the other two domains are; it’s possible one is .verisign and the other might be a security term.

    Additionally, applicants for 220 new top level domains have signed up with VeriSign for its backend registry services. You can expect that some of these are “generic” tlds that will be contested, so the ultimate number of TLDs it provides backend services for will likely be less than this number.

    VeriSign reported year-over-year revenue growth of 13% and 116.7 million active .com and .net domains at the end of the quarter.

4 Comments
  • The Verisign monopoly strikes again.

    It is not bad enough that it has the monopoly in dot-com. It is leveraging the windfall profits from that monopoly position to grab market share as the back-end provider for new gTLDs.

    That Verisign would be a major backend provider for the new gTLDs was predicted by someone who covers the domain industry whom I spoke with last November. As I wrote then:

    “I just spoke with someone who made the very good point that Verisign is well positioned to win the contracts to operate the majority of the new gTLD registries that will be coming online in the next few years. Verisign can leverage the robust registry infrastructure paid for by the .com monopoly to extend its reach to become the dominant operator of the new gTLDs. Without the windfall profits from dot-com, it is hard for other registries to put in place a similar infrastructure to support a brand new gTLD.

    Verisign seems well positioned to be able to use the competitive advantages from its monopoly position in dot-com to shut out competition in the new gTLDs and become even more dominant.”

    The point is that since Verisign is being paid $7+ for each dot-com registration, which probably costs it less than $1 on average, Verisign has endless amounts of money to spend on building the best, most robust back-end infrastructure.

    It is in effect using the windfall profits from running the dot-com registry to give it an unfair advantage against all the competitors who also provide back-end registry services.

    As others have mentioned, the back-end operators are charging far less to run the new gTLDs than Verisign is charging to run dot-com. I wonder how much Verisign itself is charging.

    It should be an embarrassment for them to charge far less per domain to run a new gTLD than they charge to run dot-com.

    • @ Nat Cohen – it will be really interesting to see what pricing structure it has in place with some of these applicants. I suspect there’s a large fixed component, but I bet any TLD that becomes “big” will be paying substantially less than $7 per domain for registry services.

  • Jack Delarmo says:

    April 27, 2012 at 10:55 am

    My understanding is that Verisign is going after the DigitalArchery.com domain name as well which will give them a further monopoly.

  • Just out of interest, does anyone know if there are any Competition Laws in USA like we have in the UK ?.

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