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.

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