Neustar will continue operating .co but at much less favorable terms.
.Co Internet SaS, part of Neustar, will get to run the .co domain name registry after all.
Last year, MinTIC, Columbia’s Ministry of Information Technology (MinTIC), said it was putting the contract out to bid. Rivals lined up with hopes of cashing in on the popular domain extension.
The domain name wasn’t a global success when .Co Internet originally started running it in 2010; it spent heavily on marketing the domain name over the past decade, including in three Super Bowl commercials.
Neustar believed it had a right to a ten-year contract extension and filed a $350 million claim with the government of Colombia.
The parties settled the dispute, with MinTIC awarding a new contract to .Co Internet. The terms are very different from the first time around, though.
The government said it received about 6%-7% under the previous model and will now receive 81%.
Other terms have changed. First, it appears to be a five-year deal. Second, Colombia’s government will get more involved going forward. Here’s how Google Translate translated the relevant statement:
The selected contractor will operate the domain registration for the next 5 years after completing the transition process to the new operating model. In the future, the Ministry will be in charge of its administration through a group dedicated to Internet governance with technical personnel with knowledge and ability to manage and administer the domain. A fundamental change compared to the previous contract that contemplated the concession of the two components: the administrative and the operational.
[This story has been updated to clarify Colombia’s role going forward.]