Domain registrar spends big bucks to lobby on capitol hill.
Domain registrar GoDaddy.com spent $580,000 in federal lobbying last year, according to data obtained by Domain Name Wire from the Center for Responsive Politics. This is up from $460,000 spent in 2006.
GoDaddy set up a full time presence in Washington D.C. by the fall of 2006. In general, GoDaddy’s efforts in Washington appear to by pro-domainer, including testifying against VeriSign’s price increases. According to the company’s self-reported lobbying reports, its lobbying activity included computers & information technology, copyright & trademark, telecommunications, law enforcement, pharmacy, and consumer product safety. Your guess is as good as mine about the pharmacy issue, but it may have involved domain names that include drugs or online pharmacies.
Internet Commerce Association (ICA), a lobbying group that protects the rights of domain name owners, spent $200,000 in 2007. Coalition Against Domain Name Abuse (CADNA) spent $80,000, but I suspect that number will be dramatically higher this year. While ICA is backed by relatively small companies and individuals, CADNA taps into the pocketbooks of Fortune 500 companies such as Dell and Verizon.
.Com and .net registry operator VeriSign (VRSN) has not filed its annual lobbying report for 2007. It spent $570,000 on lobbying in the first half of 2007. [Updated 3-6-08: It appears VeriSign’s total tab for the year was about 1.7M]
Registrar Network Solutions spent $20,000 in lobbying during the first half of 2007 and hasn’t filed its second half report.