VeriSign and the US Department of Commerce (DoC) have agreed to allow a deal submitted by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann) that gives VeriSign control of the .com and .net domains until 2012.
VeriSign, which has run the domains since 1999, has also won the right to increase charges for the domains by up to seven percent annually for four of the next six years.
However the DoC's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has retained the right to overrule any price hikes in domain registration.
"As a condition of approval, the DoC negotiated an amendment to its existing Cooperative Agreement with VeriSign to address the competition and internet security and stability issues identified during the review process," said NTIA in a statement.
"Under this amendment, the DoC retains oversight over any changes to the pricing provisions of, or renewals of, the new .com registry agreement.
"DoC approval of any renewal will occur only if it concludes that the approval will serve the public interest in the continued security and stability of the internet domain name system and the operation of the .com registry, and the provision of registry services at reasonable prices, terms and conditions."
There are currently 59 million .com addresses registered with VeriSign, and the company claims that it can handle 10,000 times the volume of DNS queries it had in 2000.
"The registry operator framework Icann has adopted and embodied in the .com agreement strengthens the security and stability of the internet relied on by hundreds of millions of people around the globe," said Mark McLaughlin, general manager at VeriSign Information Services.
"This framework holds operators accountable for their performance, promotes the continued investment of tens of millions of dollars in the infrastructure and provides important safeguards for consumers."
VeriSign wins .com control until 2012
By Iain Thomson on Dec 7, 2006 9:55AM