August 31, 2004 11:28 AM PDT

VeriSign sues ICANN in state court

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VeriSign's antitrust suit against ICANN dismissed

August 27, 2004
VeriSign made good on a promise and took to state court its crusade against the organization that oversees the Net.

In a filing dated Aug. 27, VeriSign took the case that had just been dismissed in federal district court and amended it for a hearing in the California superior court in Los Angeles County.

Both the failed federal suit and the new state suit fault the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN--a private corporation created in 1998 by the U.S. government to oversee the Internet's address system--for putting a stop to or otherwise hindering services VeriSign tried to offer through its Network Solutions unit.

In the federal suit, VeriSign alleged antitrust violations. In the state suit, VeriSign contends that ICANN's actions violate the terms of a 2001 contract that gave VeriSign authority over the ".com" top-level domain.

"Were VeriSign to defer offering such services to the public during the effective period of the 2001 .com Registry Agreement, or to modify such services due to ICANN's conduct and threats, VeriSign will suffer irreparable losses of revenue from third parties, profits, market share, competitive position, reputation and good will," the filing states. "Furthermore, millions of Internet users will be deprived of the improved functionality and quality of VeriSign's services."

Disputed VeriSign services include Site Finder, which redirected mistyped Web addresses to a VeriSign search page; a wait list for acquiring expired domains; and the ConsoliDate service for managing multiple domains.

VeriSign did not return calls seeking comment. ICANN declined to comment on the filing.

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Verasign accusing ICAN of antitrust??
Hmm, let's see. I control some of the most popular TLDs on the Internet. I arrange it so that whenever someone mistypes a web address, they are automatically brought to my business web site, where I can offer my selling them the mistyped domain, for example. Never mind that this would give me an unfair advantage over other registrars, as they would *not* also have this opportunity. Also, never mind that this would break just about all Internet software that depends on a negative DNS answer to determine if they have reached the site they are trying to connect to. Mail programs won't be able to tell their senders that the email address they have entered is misspelled. Ei: The domain won't exist, and the mail program won't be able to say so, as it will not know. They'll just keep trying to deliver the email to a server that is not running, on a domain that is misspelled, until their mail queues time out. And anyone that tries to prevent me from exploiting this captive audience is infringing on my right to do business, and are committing an act of antitrust. Am I...missing something, here?
Posted by phobet (43 comments )
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