Domain name registrar VeriSign has had its licence to sell .org domain names taken away by web authority the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann).
Previously know as Network Solutions, VeriSign has held a monopoly over the most popular internet domains of .com, .net and .org since the names first went on sale.
Icann's decision this week to remove control of the .org domain from VeriSign will promote competition in the domain name industry.
Earlier this month Icann threatened to pull VeriSign's ability to sell domain names unless it maintained a more accurate registry.
The authority claimed that a large percentage of the data in the domain name registry, which links owner information to a domain name, was incorrect.
Icann also criticised VeriSign's management of the registry, saying that it allowed too much scope to enter fraudulent or incorrect information.
VeriSign struck a deal with Icann agreeing to give up control of .org if it could continue to manage the .com and .net domains, therefore relinquishing a total grip on the most popular domain registrations.
Control of the .org domain will be given to an as yet unidentified alternative operator.
Jonathan Robinson, business development director at NetNames, one of Europe's biggest registration firms, said that the .org domain was originally intended to denote non-commercial entities but, with the expansion of the internet, has become indistinguishable from the .com and .net domains.
"The new .org registry operator will attempt to differentiate the .org domain from the other top level domains and recreate some white space between .org and the others," he said.
"The fact that Icann has had such limited success in introducing a truly competitive domain name industry is arguably one of its greatest failings.
"An effective and focused international regulator of the domain name industry is sorely needed and introducing real competition is something which a reformed Icann needs to tackle most urgently."
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