Tag Archives: Registrar

First European Elected To Chair ICANN Registrar Stakeholder Group

Blacknight’s CEO Michele Neylon has been elected as Chair of the Registrar Stakeholder Group within ICANN. The Irishman is the first European to hold the position.

Registrar Stakeholder Group is one of several Stakeholder Groups within the ICANN community and is the representative body of registrars worldwide.

More details are in the news release below:

Blacknight CEO Elected Chair of Registrar Stakeholder Group of ICANN
Michele Neylon, CEO of, Blacknight, announces his election as Chair of the Registrar Stakeholder Group of ICANN (International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the first European to ever hold the position.

The Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) is one of several Stakeholder Groups within the ICANN community and is the representative body of domain name Registrars worldwide. It is a diverse and active group that works to ensure the interests of Registrars and their customers are effectively advanced.

The chair, in consultation with the executive committee and members, organises the work of the Stakeholder Group and conducts RrSG meetings. The chair often confers with others in the ICANN community on Registrar-related policy and business issues, and is the primary point of contact between the RrSG and ICANN staff. Neylon has previously served as the Secretary to the RrSG and is the only European member of the executive committee.

Michele Neylon states: “It is an honour to have been elected Chair of the Registrar Stakeholder Group. Acting as an executive member of this group has been a valuable experience and I look forward to continuing to do excellent work with a great team.”

Neylon was first elected to the RSG on October 16th 2012. He has long been a trusted member and advisor to the Internet governance community and is in excellent standing within the ICANN community. Neylon’s election as Chair of the RSG came as no surprise and was agreed upon unanimously by its members.

Neylon continues: “As the group’s only European executive member and the CEO of Ireland’s leading domain registrar and hosting company, I bring a unique but vital perspective to the team. Around 21.6% of the world’s Internet users are located in Europe and it is vital that their needs are represented in this forum.”

“Congratulations to Michele Neylon on his election as Chair of the RrSG…with all of his years of participation in Internet governance and ICANN, I can think of no one more qualified for this post and look forward to his successful leadership of the group during this critical time, ” said Matt Serlin, outgoing Chair of the RrS.

Since the formation of ICANN, the Registrar Stakeholder Group has been the voice and advocacy organisation for Registrars and their customers and has played a very active role in policy development and other ICANN processes.

ICANN Convening European Regional Registry/Registrar Meeting in January

ICANN logoICANN has announced it will convene a Europe Regional Registry/Registrar meeting where it will meet with gTLD registration services providers in January.

These regional meetings are, ICANN note on their blog, “a chance for ICANN staff and representatives from gTLD registries and ICANN-accredited registrars to meet informally to discuss topics important to our industry and business relationships. They happen regularly in different locations (regions) around the world. Previous meetings, for example, took place in Shanghai, Prague, New Orleans, and Rome.”

The ICANN blog posting goes on to say:
Although the meeting is tailored to regional ICANN-accredited registrars and gTLD registries, other registrars and registries located around the globe that may have a regional or business interest also attend.

At this regional meeting staff is planning to introduce a new feature dedicated to newcomers to the ICANN process on the morning of the first day.

The agenda is not final yet, however some of the anticipated agenda items are:

  • Registrar/Registry Onboarding with new gTLDs
  • RAA Amendments
  • Developments in Contractual Compliance
  • Policy updates
  • ICANN restructuring update
  • Internet Security Developments

The joint registrar and registry regional meeting model was introduced in 2006 as an educational opportunity for ICANN and its contracted parties to share information about registry and registrar operations within the domain name industry. The model has evolved over time based on feedback received and changes in the domain registration environment. The meetings largely focused on the policies and procedures registration service providers are obligated to implement and enforce as a result of either their contract with ICANN or with one another.

These regional meetings are distinguished from the regular international ICANN meetings in that they are not structured, for example, to influence policy development. If you are interested in the policy development and a broader interaction with ICANN stakeholders, please join the upcoming ICANN Meetings in person or through remote participation. The next international ICANN Meeting is scheduled for Beijing in April 2013.

All presentation materials will be published on the ICANN website after the meeting.

The space to attend this meeting is limited and interested registrars and registries are asked to pre-register. Other parties who may be interested in becoming an ICANN-accredited registrar or gTLD registry and wish to attend as observers should contact regionalevents@icann.org for further details.

Canadian Bank Recommends Investing In Registrars

In a report prepared for investor clients, RBC Capital Markets have prepared a report on the new generic Top Level Domain expansion saying that “with potentially 100s more gTLDs becoming available for use in the next year or so, we think DMD (Demand Media) and WWWW (Web.com) – two companies in our coverage universe with major domain registrar operations – will be longer-term beneficiaries through the expansion of the domain name-space.”The report titled Say .anything – Opening Up the gTLD Landscape by a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada goes on to say that “should DMD/WWWW become official registry operators for certain new gTLDs (they currently do not have any registry operations), there could be significant value creation that we think is currently under appreciated by the market.””We estimate a registry that reaches 10mm domains in 7 years (with moderate growth thereafter) could be worth ~$260mm. We have a favorable view of the domain registry business given its high-margin and stable/growing cash flow characteristics. Our DCF analysis suggests a registry that reaches 10mm domains in 7 years (with moderate growth thereafter) could be worth ~$260mm in PV terms. We do note that assessing the potential size of a gTLD is more art than science.”In a section on “Valuing a Registry – Taking a DCF Approach,” the report says “we have a favorable view of the domain registry business given its high margin and stable/growing cash flow characteristics, which we think also makes the DCF approach an appropriate method for valuation.”To download the 17 page report, go to:

NTIA Outlines Concerns On gTLD Registry/Registrar Cross-Ownership

ICANN logoThe National Telecommunications and Information Administration, an agency of the Department of Commerce, has expressed its concerns on cross-ownership of registries and registrars for existing and new generic Top Level Domains in a letter from its Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and Information, Lawrence Strickling.

The letter contains advice from the agency’s Antitrust Division that says “ICANN should retain its prohibition on vertical integration for existing gTLDs” except where there is no likelihood market power can be abused.

The advice says that new gTLDs “should be permitted to adopt registry agreements that allow for cross ownership” unless it is determined by ICANN “that the gTLD is unlikely to possess market power.” However the Antitrust Division deems it unlikely any new gTLD will be in the position “to possess significant market power.”

The concerns were addressed in a letter to ICANN that contained some initial advice that was requested from the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division. The letter from Strickling notes that “[i]n addition, in the Affirmation of Commitments, ICANN committed to the global community that it would adequately address a number of items, including competition and consumer protection issues, prior to implementing the new gTLD program. In light of this obligation as well as the concerns raised by the European Commission in its letter to the ICANN Board on June 14, 2011, we recommend the ICANN Board carefully consider the concerns raised by competition authorities before taking action on proposals to make wholesale changes to restrictions on cross-ownership of registries and registrars for existing and new gTLDs.”

In their advice, James J Tierney, Chief of the Networks and Technology Enforcement Section at the Antitrust Division says that to make a competitive analysis of the proposed cross ownership changes would require “a more thorough examination of the potential consumer harms” and that a “full analysis of the harms and benefits of the cross-ownership is beyond the scope of” their letter. But they raise two competitive concerns that they say warrant serious scrutiny.

One relates to price caps or other regulatory restrictions can mean firms “evade such restrictions by integrating upstream or downstream”. The example they give in the context of new gTLDs is that “a gTLD subject to a price cap could develop or purchase a registrar, grant it an exclusive contract, and exercise its market power by increasing the registrar’s price. Second, cross-ownership may allow a registrar or registry to disadvantage its rivals, foreclosing competition and harming registrants.”

The Antitrust Division say they would “expect that removing cross-ownership restrictions would lead to substantial price increases for .com, .net and .org and would likely lead to price increases for .info and .biz.”

However for existing gTLDs such as .aero, .museum, .mobi and .tel the Antitrust Division believes “cross-ownership should presumptively be allowed” unless it is determined the TLD has market power.

Concerns are expressed on trademark holders, with the Antitrust Division saying ICANN “should require all new gTLDs to take steps to minimize external costs that defensive registration will impose on owners of domains that reflect brands or trademarks.”

The full text of the letter to ICANN is available on the NTIA site here and the ICANN site here.

Australian Registrar Bottle Domains Termination By auDA Confirmed By Court

auDA, the.AU policy and regulatory body, has terminated the registrar accreditation of Australian Style Pty Ltd, who trades as Bottle Domains, following a the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria dismissing Bottle Domains’ appeal in proceedings against auDA on 23 July 2010.The termination came about following a serious breach of its obligations under the Registrar Agreement by Bottle Domains.In February 2009, auDA was notified by the Australian Federal Police that there had been a security incident which affected customers of Bottle Domains. Refer to auDA Announcement 10/02/09.auDA subsequently discovered that Bottle Domains was the subject of an earlier security incident in April 2007, which auDA believes may have caused or contributed to the security incident in February 2009.Bottle Domains failed to notify auDA at the time of the April 2007 security incident, which was a breach of its obligations under the Registrar Agreement. Bottle Domains also failed to take appropriate remedial security action and alert customers of the incident.These failures led to auDA’s decision to terminate Bottle Domains’ registrar accreditation on 15 April 2009, however the termination had been suspended pending the conclusion of legal proceedings.Following Friday’s decision in its favour, auDA has today re-initiated the termination process. Approximately 8,900 domain names registered by Bottle Domains have been transferred to auDA, and the registrants of these names will be sent instructions on how to transfer to another auDA accredited registrar.”The domain names of Bottle Domains’ customers are NOT at risk. auDA is in the process of contacting all those whose domain name is registered through Bottle Domains to provide them with all the information they need” said auDA CEO, Chris Disspain.In its decision, the Court of Appeal recognised the importance of the system governing domain name allocation and use in Australia and that “protecting the system against unauthorised entry is therefore of paramount concern”.The Court also endorsed the actions of auDA, and its CEO, Chris Disspain: “Given the importance of the .au domain name system as a public resource to be administered in the public interest, it is in my opinion appropriate that this Court say clearly that it endorses the approach taken by Mr Disspain.”In his judgement, Justice Harper also said Bottle Domains “sought to persuade the trial judge that what on careful examination was clearly one thing, was actually another. His Honour was not persuaded.”However despite the damning judgement, Bottle Domains is claiming there are no problems anymore and the company sought to have their registrar accreditation reinstated in a statement they issued late Friday according to IT News.A spokesman claimed the company was “now operating at or above industry standards for internet security following a series of system improvements in line with auDA requirements,” reported IT News.”We have complied with auDA’s requirements and remedied all of the problems that had concerned the authority,” the spokesman said.He also claimed auDA-appointed security auditors had reviewed Bottle Domains’ security environment and “had been satisfied with their findings.””Given [our] commitment to the highest possible security standards, [we call] on auDA to now remove any doubt about the future of the registrar agreement which allows Bottle Domains to operate,” the spokesman said.The full court decision is available from: