ICANN today posted a newly revised proposed set of agreements which, if approved, will settle all pending litigation with VeriSign. The proposed agreement documents are being posted for public comment in order to inform the Board's deliberations; the proposed settlement remains subject to final approval or disapproval of the ICANN Board.
The newly proposed agreements contain significant changes from the October 2005 proposed agreements in response to Internet community feedback. The proposed changes include the following: the elimination of the proposed registry-level transaction fee (which would have been passed through directly to registrars); a direct contribution from VeriSign in the form of significantly increased fixed registry-level fees (which VeriSign will not be permitted to pass through directly to registrars); a new limitation on the frequency of permitted price increases for domain name registrations; a revision to the ICANN consensus policy limitation relating to the introduction of new registry services; a clarification of the permissible uses of traffic data; and the incorporation of new service-level specifications for the .COM registry.
After entering into a diligent round of negotiations with ICANN staff and granting these additional concessions to address feedback from the Internet community, VeriSign has advised ICANN that this proposal represents its last, best offer to settle the pending litigation.
Background: Over three months ago, on 24 October 2005, ICANN announced the first proposed settlement to its litigation with VeriSign and opened a forum for public comments on the proposed settlement documents <http://www.icann.org/announcements/announcement-24oct05.htm>. The comments received in response represented a diversity of views, with broader agreement on some issues than on others.
A full description of the history of the settlement negotiations, the settlement documents, and the issues raised in public fora can be found at http://www.icann.org/topics/verisign-settlement.htm . This summary includes clean and red-lined versions of the amended agreements. ICANN has also published a matrix summary of Revisions to the Settlement and Registry Agreements.
Comment period will close 20 February 2005, at 12:00 noon, UTC