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ICANN and VeriSign End Dispute


Reuters reports from Washington said on Monday that VeriSign Inc. would maintain control of the lucrative .com Internet domains until 2012 in return for dropping an antitrust lawsuit against ICANN, the nonprofit body that oversees the Internet's addressing systems.

The settlement comes at a time when ICANN is under scrutiny from China, Iran and other countries that want more direct control over the domain name system that guide traffic around the Internet.

Under the terms of the agreement, VeriSign gets to maintain control of the database of 35 million .com domain names until 2012. The contract would have otherwise come up for renewal in 2007. When it comes to the 35 million .com domains, VeriSign makes $6 per year from each of the domain names in use. It also controls the .net domain, which contains a little less than 6 million domain names.

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