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Public Interest Registry (.Org) tax return provides insight into registrar marketing deals

Latest tax return doesn’t reflect new Afilias contract.

Public Interest Registry (PIR), which manages the .org top level domain, has filed its 2017 tax return (large PDF). It provides fresh insight into the non-profit’s finances for 2017.

It doesn’t include a number that many in the industry are eagerly waiting for: how much PIR is paying Afilias to manage the backend registry services under its new contract.

PIR put the contract out to bid in 2016. It received 20 bids and decided to stick with Afilias.

The new contract didn’t start until 2018, so we don’t yet know how much of a haircut Afilias took under the new agreement.

The 2017 tax return reveals that PIR paid Afilias $37.8 million in 2017, down slightly from $38.0 million in 2016.

Overall, PIR’s program revenue (excluding investment income) was $90.8 million in 2017, up from $85.0 million in 2016.

From a registrar cooperation perspective, PIR paid GoDaddy $1.5 million in marketing fees in 2017, up from $0.8 million in the prior year. Marketing fees are typically paid for placement and rebates.

PIR also paid Name.com $0.5 million in 2017.

In 2016, PIR paid PDR (Endurance International Group) $0.7 million. It didn’t report a payment to the firm for 2017.

The company is changing how it works with registrars starting next year. Learn more by listening to this podcast with interim CEO Jay Daley.

Public Interest Registry is expected to name a new CEO next month.

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