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6 lawmakers urge ICANN to reject .ORG sale

January 16, 2020

Six U.S. lawmakers have asked ICANN (pdf) to reject the sale of .ORG to Ethos Capital, a private equity company.

Elizabeth Warren

The lawmakers include presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, Rony Wyden, Richard Blumenthal, Edward Markey, Anna Eshoo, and Mark Pocan.

In a letter to ICANN, they provide a litany of reasons that ICANN should reject the deal. One is that they believe the new owners will raise prices and cut costs as a way to pay down debt and return funds to investors.

They point out that, even if Ethos raises prices 10% a year on average, this is three times how much PIR has traditionally raised prices.

The letter concludes:

ICANN has previously said that it doesn’t have authority over the deal. While it can technically not consent to the transfer, its approval can’t be “unreasonably withheld”.

What that means is open to interpretation.

Source: Elizabeth Warren