U.S. goverment just gave .com domain owners a $10.78 tax break

Cost of holding domain for six years decreases by as much as $10.78.

Hey, don’t say the U.S. government never did anything for you.

They just gave domain name owners a $10.78 price reduction over the term of the next .com contract by eliminating price increases.

Assuming that Verisign would have increased prices in the first four years of its contract (it had the right to do it in 4 of 6), that equals a $10.78 savings per domain that you would have held for the entire six years.

(Last time VeriSign waited a year before one of its increases, which reduced the overall holding cost over six years.)

Michael Berkens calculates that this will save Mike Mann almost $2 million over the first four years of the contract. The biggest savings come in years 4 through 6, when the price is $2.44 lower than it would have been otherwise.

And Mike Mann isn’t the biggest domain portfolio holder.

[Update: George Kirikos pointed out that if you round down it may come out a bit lower. I worked off of ICA’s numbers.


  1. Domainer Extraordinaire says

    The bureaucrats are poor negotiators. I would have told Verisign you either take $4 or less or we will bid it out and the price will go to $1.

  2. Philip Corwin says

    ICA is taking half a victory lap on this – DOC went further than we requested on price increases, not even allowing CPI adjustments; but failed to reduce the base .Com price by $2 to equalize it with the current .Net price.

    We’ll be following up with DOC regarding some of the issues raised by the amendment to the registry contract.

  3. Rob says

    it’s stuff like this that proves to me beyond any doubt that it’s all just a closed shop with lots of dirty back room deals, including corrupt people at the DOC. in order for them to keep a stranglehold on the massive cash cow they’ve got, they cleverly negotiated a “great deal for the people” by excluding price rises. woopee freakin doo! thanks. how about opening up the .com registry to anyone else who wants to take it over? nah, that would mean no kickbacks for all the corrupt people involved. this is a disgrace.

  4. Philip Corwin says

    Mr. Extraordinare — So if the letter was ignored how come one of the top officials in DOJ’s Antitrust Division called to thank me for it and say they agreed with much of it?

    It guess that guys like you and Rob feel comfortable in your nihilistic cynicism.If you believe that the fix is always in, that everything is corrupt, and that no effort ever matters it leaves you free to do nothing while mocking the hard work of others.

    DC is a hard place to get things done, and no one (not even the President) gets his total ask, but that doesn’t mean that making strong and well-documented arguments has no effect. It does.

  5. Meyer says

    Being in Washington, I know how difficult a job Phil had/has.

    He is competing with lobbyist that have huge staff, a lot of political influence and very deep pockets.

    I tip my hat to Phil for a job well done.

  6. Rob says

    @philip corwin

    “nihilistic cynicism” ?? really ?

    has anyone except verisign been offered to run the registry? NO. WHY NOT?

    will anyone ever be offered the chance to run the registry? NO, UNLIKELY IN THE NEAR FUTURE. WHY NOT?

    does anyone else have the capability to run the registry to the same level or better than verisign? YES. SO WHY DON’T WE SEE WHAT THEY CAN DO?

    could there be cost savings to domain owners for a new registry operator? YES. ISN’T IT A GOOD THING TO GET THE SAME OR BETTER SERVICE FOR LESS? (ie: competition)

    philip, there are just so many logical questions that are not being answered or even asked that it is not possible to come to any other conclusion. there are forces working within that do not want verisign to lose the registry to a competitor and result in savings for domain owners and subsequent revenue drop for verisign.

    and since the DOC has the final say in the matter, it clearly shows that the ultimate decision is coming from somewhere within there. like i said, perhaps verisign offers incentives for decisions to go a certain way (???). but no, that’s the department of commerce, they’re supposed to be fair and impartial so that just couldn’t happen there.

  7. says

    As Meyer said, well done to Phil for his hard work and a significant result.

    As Phil said himself, there is still more to do – but that does not mean one should not try at all!

  8. Domainer Extraordinaire says

    Phil you read a lot into my 2 sentences.
    I was simply saying stop taking credit for something you did not do. I did not say anything about corruption. I would also rather you did not speak for me or any other domainer since your letters did not express the wishes of 99% + of domainers that did not want the Verisign contract renewed.

    • says

      @ Domainer Extraordinaire

      I highly doubt 99% of domainers didn’t want the Verisign contract renewed. Verisign has proven itself a competent registry provider over that past six years.

      The only issue was price.

  9. Meyer says

    “rather you did not speak for me or any other domainer”

    D.E., that is being very short-sighted. In the past DOC has not stepped up to the plate like they did last week.

    It is unrealistic to think the DOC would go out on a limb by changing the registry management company for the most important TLD. Especially since there has been no problems with the back office operation.
    The only major complaint is price (from domainers).

    You just reminded me of an old expression,
    “I rather have a half loaf than none.”

  10. Philip Corwin says

    @Meyer–The DC version of that is “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” The DOC decision was far from perfect, but it was quite good compared to what ICANN ok’d.

    @Rob. The fight to rebid the contract was fought and lost half a dozen years ago. But for one cybersecurity incident in 2010 VRSN’s operation of the registry has been competent so there were slim grounds to put the contract out for rebid. Plus it’s quite probable that DOC wants a US company to run it and does not want the risk that would accompany a rebid — imagine if a Chinese or Iranian firm with government ties made a $2 wholesale bid.

    @DE. I do not believe I ever claimed any personal credit, and I never claimed to speak for you. The letter was submitted on behlaf of ICA members and supporters and no one else, and they approved its message and had considerable input into its final text.

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