Your .com domain might be about to cost a whole lot more

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Internet registration outfit ICANN has revealed that the price of .com domains could be set for a major price rise.

The watchdog has announced that Verisign, the private company which administers the .com domain, will be allowed to increase prices by more than 70 percent over the next decade.

In order to register a .com domain for a customer, domain registrars need to pay Verisign a fee of $7.85 and while they usually add a few dollars to this price, competition in the market significantly limits their ability to raise prices. 

However, Verisign has no competitors which means that anyone who wishes to register a .com domain needs to do business with the company though ICANN does cap the fees it can charge.

Price increase for .com domains

ICANN and Verisign's new contract allows the company to raise the current $7.85 fee to register a .com domain by seven percent per year over the next four years. 

After that period comes to an end, Verisign would then be required to maintain its prices for two years before it could then begin another four-year cycle of seven percent annual price hikes which means that by 2030, the price of a .com domain registration could rise by 70 percent to $13.49.

ICANN has done away with price caps on .org and other top-level domains (TLDs) but the outfit isn't allowed to do so for .com domains. This is because ICANN and Verisign's oversight of the .com domain is actually overseen by the US Department of Commerce.

ICANN has tried to deflect blame for its announced price increase by arguing that it is just complying with the wishes of the Department of Commerce as it authorized the internet registration outfit to raise the price caps of .com domains by seven percent per year back in 2018.

Just as non-profits will have to pay more for .org domains, so to will businesses or individuals looking to register new .com domains going forward.

Domain registrars aren't happy with the change as they will be forced to pass on these higher fees to their customers. 

In a blog post, the domain registrar and web hosting company Namecheap chastised both ICANN and Verisign while promising to lead the fight against future price increases, saying:

“ICANN and Verisign made these changes in secret, without consulting or incorporating feedback from the ICANN community or Internet users.  Although ICANN has a history of making similar deals behind closed doors, and also of ignoring unified opposition against such action, Namecheap will continue to lead the fight against price increases that will harm our customers and the Internet as a whole.”

Via Ars Technica

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.