Vertical Integration Options Report Available to Community

by John Jeffrey on March 8, 2010

The paper entitled “Registry-Registrar Separation: Vertical Integration Options” [PDF, 44K] was produced for review by the ICANN Board during its 4 February 2010 Board Meeting (as was discussed in the preliminary report of that meeting at It was requested that the paper be produced to the community to provide further information on this topic.

As a result of discussions surrounding the implementation of the new gTLD policy recommendations, ICANN Staff commissioned an economic review of vertical integration issues relating to new gTLDs in the registry and registrar marketplace. ICANN engaged Steven Salop (Professor of Economics and Law, Georgetown University Law Center) and Joshua Wright (Assistant Professor of Law and Economics, George Mason University) were selected for their notable reputations and diversity of viewpoints in the issue area. They have also participated and presented in an ICANN Meeting forum in Sydney, Australia.

The report is being produced for public consideration as part of the broader dialogue and inputs on the related issues. The ICANN Board assented to the publication of the report during its workshop in Nairobi on 7 March 2010. It is important to note that publication of the report should not be considered as a validation of the information or positions contained therein. Also, it is not offered as the viewpoint of ICANN, the ICANN Board of Directors or ICANN Management, but is being offered to inform the public debate on the topic.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Jothan Frakes 03.08.10 at 3:20 pm

Thank you for making these available John.

Constantine Roussos (.music) 03.09.10 at 1:14 pm

Let us hope that vertical integration is voted in. You can not call for innovation in the TLD space if you are still bound by registrar-registry separation, especially for closed/restricted community TLDs.

Thanks for posting this report,

Constantine Roussos

Ray Marshal 03.09.10 at 7:20 pm

Regarding trademark concerns, might the new gTLD registrars consider creating two classes of domains: 1) active; and 2) inactive. Companies that purchase trademark domains during the sunrise period could choose either class depending on whether, or not, they intend to use the domain. If they plan to use the domain, the domain goes into the active class and they pay an annual fee like any other domain holder. However, if they plan not to use the domain, they pay nothing and the domain goes into the inactive class. However, if they pay nothing, the inactive domain will resolve to the registrar’s website whenever someone types that inactive domain in their web browser so no economic value accrues to the trademark holder. Perhaps this is the middle ground we need to address the concerns of the trademark holders while moving the new gTLD process forward. It could save trademark holders significant money while allowing ICANN to expedite the new gTLD process.

Jacob 03.10.10 at 5:09 pm

@ Ray,

Interesting idea. The inactive domains could also resolve to default page hosted by the registry with some standard information about the basis of the registration. For example: This .example domain is inactive and has been registered by X on the basis of trademark registration Y granted by Z country. For information contact: X

Ray Marshal 03.10.10 at 8:50 pm


Nice idea regarding standard information. That approach seems more constructive than simply pointing someone to a website with no explanation. Also, the registry’s website is probably the better candidate for receiving such traffic, especially if there are no resellers.

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