The U.S. Department of Commerce has renewed VeriSign’s (News - Alert) agreement as the registry operator for the vital .com registry starting in December and lasting though Nov. 30, 2018.
The government did put new terms and conditions in place for the six-year agreement – including restrictions on price increases.
As part of the agreement, VeriSign’s current $7.85 fee for a domain name registration will remain in effect. In addition, VeriSign lost its option to impose four price increases of up to seven percent over the six-year term.
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Price increases will now require approval from the Commerce Department. They need to relate to a new consensus policy or relate to security or stability threats, the company said. Any pricing restrictions may be removed with the approval of the Commerce Department, however.
"Consumers will benefit from VeriSign's removal of the automatic price increases," Lawrence E. Strickling, assistant Commerce secretary for communication and information, said in a statement. "At the same time, the agreement protects the security and stability of the Internet by allowing VeriSign to take cost-based price increases where justified."
"This is an important event that provides certainty and sets a clear direction for the company," Jim Bidzos, VeriSign’s CEO, added in a company statement. "This certainty, combined with our strong portfolio of assets, which includes broad DNS expertise, a combined total of more than 200 unique patents and patent applications in the U.S., the world's most reliable registry, and over $1.4 billion in cash, positions us well to participate in the growing global market for Internet registry and infrastructure services."
VeriSign's contract is with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees Internet addresses.
VeriSign has diversified in recent years, and earlier this year got a U.S. patent for a digital camera device and methodology for distributed processing and wireless transmission of digital images.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman