RE: [registrars] PersonalNames.com
actually this is argumentative from all angles. and ifact i think required detailed discussion.
while it is indeed a fact of concern that a registry has begun selling domain names directly, i was actually loooking at voicing this in far greater detail with regards to various other issues.
- the .pro registry is very closly associated with register.com
- afilias is held by several registrars
- verisign offcourse continues to be at the helm of the Registrar and Registry hand-in-gloves saga
It is indeed a concern for those of use who are unfortunately only stuck at being Registrars. Do not get me wrong. I have nothing against fair business and capitalising on business opportunties. However past experience has led me to believe that on several occassions registrars who also run a registry have taken advantage of that position, either by having access to information, or the ability to control transfer pricing etc.
this tends to destablisie the fair playing ground and fair competition rules that ICANN has attempted to create by having an accreditation process. While it will not cease that in most new TLD Registry applications, a fair amount of Registrars will continue to apply (after all we know the business well enuf), i am wondering then that eventually you would probably have a bundle of registrars controlling specific registries too. Offcourse there are not as many TLDs to go around as there are registrars, and so some of us will always be at the unfair end of the deal.
Therefore, though I am not against someone doing business, I would wish to see ICANN implement stronger controls and measures of audit, for those Registries who are also Registrars (or viceversa) to ensure that issues such as Transfer pricing are taken care of. Infact similar principles already exist in common business law for parent-subsidiary relationships across countries to ensure that a company does not use controlling stake as an advantage to escape a tax regime. It is my experience however that transfer pricing or other arrangements between a Registry and Registrar who have close ties are extremely difficult to detect or control. In that respect, while the Excom should have a conf call, I am wondering whether there exists any solution to ensure compliance (short of making a rule that a registry may not control a registrar and viceversa)