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ICANN says it “does not have authority” over .org transaction

Domain regulator is unlikely to do anything about the sale of .org by a non-profit to a private equity firm.

Logo for .org domain, featuring a blue circle with white letters spelling ORGAnyone holding out hope that ICANN will block the sale of .Org to private equity company Ethos should prepare to be disappointed.

The company issued a statement to Financial Times saying that it “does not have authority over the proposed acquisition”:

Pressure is now mounting for ICANN to block the transaction. Since it involves a top-level internet domain, the transfer of .org to a new owner requires the agency’s formal approval.

In a statement to the FT, however, ICANN appeared to brush aside the calls for action, saying that it “does not have authority over the proposed acquisition”. Instead, it said its job was simply to “assure the continued operation of the .org domain” — implying that it could only stop the sale if the stability and security of the domain name infrastructure were at risk.

Whether the deal will be delayed by ICANN’s accountability mechanisms or other action remains to be seen. But I wouldn’t put money on it.

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Author: Andrew Allemann

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