Department of Commerce will still have a say over .com prices.
Today, ICANN posted proposed contracts with Verisign (NYSE:VRSN) for the Root Zone Management Agreement (RZMA) and an extension of the .com registry contract.
The RZMA is a necessary step for the National Telecommunications and Information Administration to step out of its role in the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) contract.
The RZMA will transfer some of Verisign’s role that’s currently part of the government’s Verisign Cooperative Agreement to an agreement between Verisign and ICANN.
However, the Verisign Cooperative Agreement will live on post-transition.
Crucially, this means the Department of Commerce will still be a party to .com contracts going forward.
Why is this important? It was the Department of Commerce that stepped in to keep a lid on prices the last time the .com contract was extended.
ICANN had approved increases that could have meant paying $10.29 wholesale for a .com this year, rather than the $7.85 you currently pay. Department of Commerce mandated that prices remain flat.
It’s important to note that the proposed extension of the .com contract published today is separate from contractual negotiations over price.