RealTime IT News

Authorities Nab Australian Domain Registrar

Users who registered domain names with Australian registrar Internic.com are set to receive refunds from the company, which according to American and Australian consumer protection agencies mislead and overcharged customers.

As many as 13,000 consumers mistook the firm for InterNIC, the registration arm of Network Solutions. While Network Solutions charges $100 for two years worth of domain name registration, Internic.com, run by Internic Technology Pty Ltd., charged visitors $250. It forwarded Network Solutions the $100 and pocketed the rest.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission investigated the behavior and found that Internic.com intentionally mislead and overcharged users. As a result, the firm must pay $AUS250,000 (approximately $US161,000) to victims worldwide and is barred from using the name "Internic."

"This is a excellent example of cross country cooperation to protect consumers," said Robert Pitofsky, Chairman of the FTC. "It sends a clear message that the international consumer protection community is prepared to work together to maintain the Internet as a vital marketplace."

Consumers who registered a domain name at the internic.com site will be e-mailed a notice setting out the procedural requirements for claiming a refund, the FTC said.