Domain name registrar Network Solutions (NSI) is catching flack from other registrars which claim that it is hoarding more than a million expired domain names.
Rival registrars told uk.internet.com, part of the vnunet.com network, that the former domain monopoly is refusing to release expired domains. Other major domain administrators such as register.com, which is the second largest registrar, claim that NSI is keeping some 300,000 freshly expired .com, .net and .org names off the market every month.
Sasha Mornell, register.com's senior vice president, said that withholding domain names with the intention of auctioning them is "completely and utterly illegal. It's an abuse of their former monopolist power".
A spokesman for Icann (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) said the body is still undecided on what action, if any, to take against NSI. "Some of the features of the proposed auctions might violate our agreements," he said. "We have not made a decision about whether to take any specific action to stop NSI from auctioning names."
Although NSI is supposed to delete expired names from its database, the company's rivals claim that it has not released any such names to the public since May. Rivals are getting hot under the collar because of NSI's announcement in May that it would begin auctioning domain names. Three of the most desirable names that expired months ago, but are still not available for registration, are fineline.com, masscommunication.com and centralcontrol.com.
Doug Wolford, general manager of NSI, said: "Many customers are eager to transfer or trade their names with others. The difficulty has been getting the publicity they need to make it happen. A listing on our site is another powerful benefit we can offer."
First published on uk.internet.com
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