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RealTime IT News

Government Ends NSI Antitrust Investigation

After investigating Network Solutions, Inc. for possible antitrust violations, the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division Tuesday formally closed its inquiry of the domain name registrar.

The DOJ began its investigation in June 1997, looking into the management of the Internet's primary domain name system, and specifically relating to Network Solution's (NSOL) Internet registration business.

"Network Solutions is extremely pleased that the Department of Justice has ended its investigation," said Michael A. Daniels, Network Solutions' chairman. "From our early pioneering development work with the domain name system we have always cooperated with the United States government."

Justice officials did not return calls seeking comment.

Network Solutions was put in charge of domain name registration in 1993 under a contract by the National Science Foundation, which is set to expire later this year. Domain name registration opened up to competitors in June in preparation of the NSI's contract expiration.

This is not the first time NSI has been targeted for antitrust violations. Around the same time as the DOJ began its investigation, NSI was sued for violating antitrust laws by PGMedia Inc. A judge dismissed the suit in March, citing that NSI was entitled to "antitrust immunity" because it is acting at the best interest of a federal agency.