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Victory for Associations on Sale of .Org Registry

ICANN rejects its sale to a private equity firm

The controversial sale of the Public Interest Registry, which oversees more than 10 million .org internet addresses held by nonprofit organizations, to a private equity firm was blocked April 30 by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers.

ICANN declined to approve “a change from the fundamental public interest nature of PIR to an entity that is bound to serve the interests of its corporate stakeholders, and which has no meaningful plan to protect or serve the .ORG community.”

The Internet Society, which currently owns PIR, reached an agreement to sell the registry for a reported $1.1 billion to the public equity firm Ethos Capital LLC in November 2019. The previous June, ICANN had announced that it would remove longstanding caps on renewal fees for owners of .org domains.

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