Bidzos says it’s early to speculate about contract renewal, but cites two factors that might allow it to raise .com prices in the future.
Will Verisign be able to increase .com prices when it renews its contract for the domain name in 2018?
Verisign’s 2006 contract gave it the right to increase .com prices 7% in 4 out of the 6 years of its contract. It agreed to a similar deal with ICANN in 2012, only to have the U.S. Department of Justice step in and say that the new six-year contract shouldn’t have price increases. That fixed the wholesale price of .com domain names at $7.85 per year.
Speaking at the Credit Suisse 19th Annual Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Scottsdale yesterday, Verisign CEO James Bidzos said it’s early to speculate about what might happen when the contract renews in 2018.
He then mentioned two factors that might make price increases more plausible in 2018 than when Verisign last renewed the contract in 2012.
First, in 2012 there were only a couple dozen gTLDs, plus the country code domain names. That has changed with hundreds of new domain name options now available.
Second, many of the new domain name options are priced at several times the cost of .com domain names.
Bidzos pointed out that the U.S. Government has found .com to have “market power”, and this has led to the price restrictions. The release of lots of new TLDs at higher prices are data points for people to think about going forward, but Bidzos reiterated that “it’s too early to say what will happen in 2018.”