ICANN posted for public comment the proposed renewal agreements of the .INFO and .BIZ Registries. The new contracts will have a 6 year duration spanning up to 2019.
Afilias Limited, the .info registry, and Neustar, the .biz registry, as per the current ICANN registry contract can increase the wholesale price of .info and .biz domain names up to 10% every year. This privilege will continue to exist in the new contract ending in 2019.
.info price is set to increase by 10% to $8.16 on September 1st 2013. This is the Maximum Service Fee (as defined in the .INFO Registry Agreement) for annual increments of initial and renewal domain name registrations (including renewals associated with transfers from one ICANN-accredited registrar to another) in the .INFO registry.
On February 22 2013, Neustar Inc. announced they will be increasing the annual wholesale .BIZ domain registry fee to $8.63 per year, effective September 1, 2013.
On November 30th Verisign, Inc., the registry operator for .com, got it’s contact renewed for another 6 years but although Verisign got the contract renewal, it lost the right to raise the wholesale price of .com for the next 6 years. .com price will stay at $7.85 plus the ICANN fee.
So if Afilias and Neustar increase the wholesale prices 10% for each of the next 6 years thewholesale value of .info will be $14.42 in 2019 and the wholesale value of .biz will be $15.25 whilethe .com wholesale price will still be $7.85. The wholesale price of .info and .biz will be almost double of that of a .com.
Registries should be able to increase wholesale prices according to inflation. US inflation was at 1.1% in April. Registries are making a lot of money as it is with the current prices, so what is the point of these increases? To keep the investors happy?
Maybe it is time for the the U.S. Department of Commerce to deny this plan of raising prices 10% each of the next 6 years for .info and .biz. I will closely watch the comments made on the .info and .biz agreement renewals and give updates. Also the .org agreement renewal is coming up shortly.