The Public Interest Registry (PIR), which currently controls the .org top-level domain, recently announced that it will be acquired by the private equity firm Ethos Capital but now the CEO of the Internet Society (ISOC) has revealed the actual price of the takeover.
Ethos Capital will pay $1.135bn to Internet Society to take over the .org registry despite growing criticism over the fact that the non-profit PIR, which was set up by the ISOC, will now be owned by a for-profit company.
The CEO of the ISOC Andrew Sullivan revealed the full price of the deal in a recent webinar, saying:
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“I have only just now received permission to disclose a new piece of information, that we have not been able to disclose before. And that is the amount of money that the Internet Society is receiving under this. I am sorry I wasn't able to send it around, but this is new information that we will post later today. The total purchase price in this case is $1.135bn.”
In addition to the controversy over a for-profit company controlling the .org TLD, the level of secrecy behind the deal has raised significant concerns.
ISOC created PIR back in 2002 and the non-profit organization has been in charge of managing the .org TLD for the past 16 years. However, ISOC is supposed to act in the best interest of the internet community and the community as a whole has been quite vocal about how the sell-off was announced with no consultation.
The lack of notice and consultation surrounding the deal was explained by the fact that ISOC will receive a huge lump sum for handing over its rights to the .org registry but this explanation has left many skeptical.
Currently the only financial information that has been made available is the $1.135bn figure though Sullivan has assured members of the ISOC that a full financial review of Ethos' offer was carried out. Sullivan has said that the review will be made available in due course. During the webinar, Sullivan explained to his audience that he didn't carry out a consultation over fears that making the proposal public could lead to it being killed off.
Ethos Capital's purchase of PIR is expected to be complete within the next few months but expect more backlash over the .org sell-off as we come closer to the deal's completion.
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Via The Register (opens in new tab)