Prices keep going up.
Verisign (VRSN) announced yesterday that it is increasing the price of .net domain names by 10% on February 1, 2018. The wholesale price of a one-year registration or renewal will jump from $8.20 to $9.02 on that day.
The move doesn’t come as a surprise. Verisign increases the prices 10% every year and has the contractual right to do so under through 2023 under its recently-renewed contract. This means the wholesale price of a .net registration could be $14.52 in 2023.
By comparison, the wholesale price of a .com domain is $7.85. That price is set in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Commerce, and Verisign can’t increase it without facing an additional cost burden and getting approval from the Department of Commerce. It’s possible that the implementation of thick whois in .com could be an impetus for a price increase. However, thick whois might be delayed due to European privacy issues.
[Note: the original version of this article had a typo in the second paragraph that stated .com registration could be $14.52 in 2023, rather than .net. As noted in the final paragraph, the .com price is fixed at $7.85.]