2011-04-21 - Review of Vertical Integration for Existing gTLD Registry Operators

Summary

Board directs CEO to develop a process for existing gTLD registry operators to transition to the new form of Registry Agreement or to request amendments to their registry agreements to remove the cross-ownership restrictions.

Text

Whereas, the Board Resolved on 5 November 2010 that ICANN will not restrict cross-ownership between registries and registrars for new gTLDs, and that "ICANN will permit existing registry operators to transition to the new form of registry agreement, except that additional conditions may be necessary and appropriate to address particular circumstances of established registries."

Whereas, current gTLD Registry Agreements include cross-ownership restrictions.

Whereas, ICANN has received inquiries from several Operators about the process to remove the cross-ownership restrictions from their Registry Agreement and/or their ability to apply to become and ICANN-accredited Registrar.

Whereas, the removal of the cross-ownership restrictions for Operators is predicated on first, the Board's approval of the new gTLD Program, and second, the Board's approval of a process for Operators to transition to the new form of Registry Agreement or to request an amendment to their existing registry agreements.

Whereas, the Board anticipates that it will consider the new gTLD Program and the launch of new gTLDs at its meeting in Singapore in June 2011;

RESOLVED (2011.04.21.13), the Board directs the CEO to develop a process for existing gTLD registry operators to transition to the new form of Registry Agreement or to request amendments to their registry agreements to remove the cross-ownership restrictions. This process would be available to existing operators upon Board approval of the new gTLD Program.

Implementation Actions


  • Develop a process for existing gTLD registry operators to transition to the new form of Registry Agreement or to request amendments to their registry agreements.
    •  Responsible entity: CEO
    •  Due date: None provided
    •  Completion date: June 2011

Rationale

Why the Board is addressing the issue now?

The Board is addressing this now since they are scheduled to consider the new gTLD Applicant Guidebook on 20 June 2011. On 4 November 2010, ICANN Board Resolved that there should be a means for existing gTLD Registry Operators ("Operators") to transition to the new form of registry agreement, including the removal of restrictions on ownership of registries by registrars and vice-versa. The Operators argue that they need their current restrictions on cross-ownership to be removed on a timely basis in order to be able to compete on a level playing field with registrars that are planning to apply to operate new gTLDs. Approving a process for the existing Operators to pursue removal of their cross-ownership restrictions on a timely basis in conjunction with the Board's approval of the new gTLD Program would cause ICANN to appear to be responsive to the Operators' requests.

What concerns or issues were raised by the community?

The Operators argue that they need their current restrictions on cross-ownership to be removed on a timely basis in order to be able to compete with registrars that are planning to apply to operate new gTLDs. There are no current restrictions that prevent registrars from applying to operate new gTLD Registry Operators.

Are there Positive or Negative Community Impacts?

There are positive community impacts as existing gTLD Registry Operators would be in a position to have their cross-ownership restrictions removed and that would put them on a level playing field with new gTLD Registry Operators. 

Are there fiscal impacts/ramifications on ICANN (Strategic Plan, Operating Plan, Budget); the community; and/or the public?

There are no foreseen fiscal impacts/ramifications associated with approval of this Resolution on the Strategic Plan, the Operating Plan and/or the Budget. There is no information available at this time of the fiscal impacts/ramifications on the community or the public.

Are there any security, stability or resiliency issues relating to the DNS?

There are no known issues relating to the security, stability or resiliency of the DNS at this time.

Other Related Resolutions

Additional Information

Explanatory text does not modify or override Resolutions.  See Board Resolutions Page for more information.

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