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Internet Commerce Association Calls for ICANN to Withhold Approval of .Org Sale

The Internet Commerce Association (ICA) in an open letter issued today, has asked ICANN to withhold the approval of the assignment of the .ORG top-level domain to the private equity company Ethos Capital. The letter is in response to the announcement on Wednesday, stating that the Internet Society has reached an agreement to sell Public Interest Registry (PIR), the nonprofit corporation that operates the .ORG top-level domain, to Ethos Capital. The letter states in part:

"Despite sustained public outcry and compelling arguments to the contrary,6 7 you permitted ICANN staff to effectively set the table for the takeover of the cherished home for nonprofits by this private equity firm that will be totally unrestrained in raising prices on the nonprofits and other registrants whose online presence is tied to a .org domain name. If the sale proceeds, Ethos Capital will assume control of PIR and will enjoy the sole benefit from PIR's perpetual no-bid contract to operate the .org registry that currently enables PIR to divert a reported at least $60 million annually in unjustified excess fees from .org registrants, predominately nonprofits with a public mission. Now that ICANN has lifted price caps on .org, Ethos Capital will have the unchecked ability to grow its profits by extracting greater and greater sums from the nonprofit community — forever."

Read the letter in full here.

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