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VeriSign Still .Com Master

VeriSign has emerged again as the .com master nine months after submitting its revised deal to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC).

Under the terms of the agreement, negotiated between ICANN and VeriSign, VeriSign will continue to manage the .com registry until 2012. It also allows VeriSign to increase domain prices, which was a provision that many in the domain registry business opposed.

The DoC's National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) listened to the opposition, holding a number of hearings looking into the deal. As a result of testimony, the final agreement imposes a number of conditions on VeriSign that the original deal with ICANN did not.

"Under this amendment, the Department retains oversight over any changes to the pricing provisions of, or renewals of, the new .com registry agreement," reads a statement from the NTIA.

"Department approval of any renewal will occur only if it concludes that the approval will serve the public interest in the continued security and stability of the Internet domain name system and the operation of the .com registry, and the provision of registry services at reasonable prices, terms and conditions."

Opponents to the original deal had argued that the ICANN/VeriSign deal could leave VeriSign with control of the .com registry for near perpetuity.

They had also argued against the fact that the pricing changes would yield over $3 billion in revenue for VeriSign.

VeriSign has managed the .com registry since 1999 with what VeriSign claims to be 100 percent uptime.

"The registry operator framework ICANN has adopted and embodied in the .com agreement strengthens the security and stability of the Internet relied on by hundreds of millions of people around the globe," Mark McLaughlin, executive vice president and general manager of VeriSign Information Services, said in a statement.

"This framework holds operators accountable for their performance, promotes the continued investment of tens of millions of dollars in the infrastructure and provides important safeguards for consumers."