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PIR (.Org) slashes registry fee to Afilias in half to $18 million

Non-profit’s renegotiated contract includes steep reduction in fees.

Logo for .org domain, featuring a blue circle with white letters spelling ORG

Public Interest Registry (PIR), the non-profit organization that operates the .org top level domain name, cut the fee it pays its backend technical registry provider by half in 2018.

The company paid Afilias $18.1 million in 2018, down from $37.8 million in 2017.

That’s according to the company’s latest Form 990 tax return filed with the Internal Revenue Service.

Afilias has provided the registry services for PIR since .org was awarded to PIR in 2002. PIR put the technical contract out to bid in 2016. It received 20 bids but decided to stick with Afilias.

It will be interesting to see if the payment amount changes in future years.

With about 10 million domains in the zone, PIR is paying less than $2.00 per domain per year.

Overall, PIR grossed $93.3 million in 2018, down from $94.8 million in the year prior. But the difference is investment income; revenue from the registry business was up year-over-year.

PIR handed $2.65M over to ICANN. It also paid $1.15 million to GoDaddy to market .org.

Internet Society, the beneficiary of PIR’s efforts, received $48.7 million.


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  1. Jack says

    Let’s put the .COM contract for bid and prices will be slashed instead of being scandalously increased !!!

  2. Domainer says

    I’m confused.
    PIR raised the cost for an .org domain. (increase revenue)
    But, reduced their back office expense. (decrease expenses).

    Did management pocket the difference?
    Is PIR considered a non-profit corporation?

    • Kip says

      PIR and their cronies got ICANN to allow unlimited price increases it can take in.

      On the back side PIR forced the technical provider (afilias) to compete for the business, thus forcing pricing down per this article. Thus PIR is winning on both sides. Lower costs (for them) and higher revenues (for them).

      It is so sad that ICANN is unable to force contracts that go out for public bid. But when the “public” interest registry forces a competitive bid, it gets it’s prices slashed so that it can make infinitely more money. It shows how much registrants are being overcharged and how cheap it can be to run a registry.

      Where are the regulators? Who will stop the madness?

  3. Domain2389 says

    Where did you find these amounts? I can only find line 24a in Part IX which shows $28.9m in external expenses for ’18 and $36.2m in ’17

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