Court of Appeals denies VeriSign’s motion, setting up a potential trial over the company’s .com monopoly.
One year after a big legal setback, VeriSign has been setback again by the same court.
Today the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied (pdf) VeriSign’s motion for a rehearing of its case with Coalition for ICANN Transparency, and the court amended the opinion it released last year on the matter.
The background: Coalition for ICANN Transparency (CFIT) sued VeriSign for its no-bid contract with ICANN, among other things. The district court dismissed the case, and CFIT appealed. Last year the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the district court had erred. VeriSign essentially appealed that ruling, asking for a rehearing. Today the court of appeals denied that motion for a rehearing.
I talked to Bret Fausett, one of the attorneys for CFIT, moments ago. He is obviously excited by the outcome. He said one of two things will happen from here: either VeriSign will petition the Supreme Court to hear the case, or it will go back to the district court for a trial.
Should VeriSign ultimately lose, it would shake up the domain name registry market and the economics of the business. A competitive tender for the .com registry would certainly result in lower wholesale .com prices, which is currently $7.34.
Shares of VeriSign have started trading lower shortly after the release of the ruling from the court.