[At-Large] Fwd: Comment on proposal for the removal of existing gTLD-Registrar cross-ownership.

Alan Greenberg alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca
Sun Jun 3 23:06:08 UTC 2012

Note the following note sent to the ALAC list.


>To: ALAC Working List <alac at atlarge-lists.icann.org>
>From: Alan Greenberg <alan.greenberg at mcgill.ca>
>Subject: Comment on proposal for the removal of existing 
>gTLD-Registrar cross-ownership .
>I was asked to evaluate whether a comment of the Proposed Revised 
>Process for Handling Requests for Removal of Cross-Ownership 
>Restrictions on Operators of Existing gTLDs warrants ALAC comment, 
>and if so to draft such a comment. Following consultation with 
>selected ALAC and At-Large members, I believe that a comment is warranted.
>Unfortunately other commitments have prevented me from submitting 
>such a comment until today, and the first stage of the comment 
>period ends on June 6th.
>I would suggest that if there is no substantive ALAC request to not 
>submit this comment, that it be submitted prior to the deadline with 
>the stated proviso that it is undergoing ALAC comment and approval. 
>That would allow the ALAC to revise it if needed, and accept or 
>reject it prior to the conclusion of the 2nd phase of the comment period.
>The details of the proposal and comment period are at 
>My concern is that one of the options provided is that existing 
>registry operators (and specifically .com, .net and .org) can either 
>request amendment of their agreements to remove cross-ownership 
>restrictions, or can transition  to the agreement to be used by all 
>new gTLD operators. If they chose the latter path, along with the 
>removal  of the restrictions on cross ownership, they would also 
>remove the price caps that are in existing agreements. This I feel 
>could be of great detriment to Internet users.
>My proposed comment follows.
>The ALAC and At-Large have multiple opinions on whether the removal 
>of Cross-Ownership Restrictions for gTLD Operators will be to the 
>benefit or detriment of users, or in fact, the domain ecosystem. 
>There is, however, a unified position that whatever the environment 
>is, with certain constraints, there should be a level playing field 
>for all gTLD operators.
>As such, the ALAC supports the removal of cross-ownership 
>constraints for existing gTLD operators.
>Nevertheless, the ALAC does have one concern with the proposal, and 
>that is the option for existing gTLD operators to transition to the 
>new gTLD agreement. That transition would be subject to limits 
>related to competition issues raised by the removal of the 
>cross-ownership restrictions. The document is silent on other 
>results of such a transition, and particularly the removal of price 
>caps on existing operators.
>The ALAC does not believe that there is sufficient proof at this 
>time to indicate that the new gTLD environment will so significantly 
>change the gTLD market so that price caps are no longer required for 
>the dominant gTLDs. As such, no change driven by the removal of 
>cross-ownership restrictions should at the same time remove the 
>price caps in the current agreements for dominant gTLDs without 
>substantive community involvement.

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