Chillin'Competition

Relaxing whilst doing Competition Law is not an Oxymoron

Archive for November 22nd, 2011

Antitrust litigation over the .XXX domain

with one comment

An interesting piece of news was left out yesterday: an adult website company owner has filed an antitrust lawsuit  against the International Corporation for Assigned Names & Numbers (ICANN) contending that website owners are “forced to pay excessive fees for .XXX defensive registrations” that may have little or no value.

We suppose you may not be aware of this, but the landrush period for the .xxx domain has been running since 8 November and until 25 November. General availability will commence on 6 December.  This means that many companies are right now engaging in defensive registration in order to preserve their image by avoiding third parties from, for instance, registering a web with their brand name under the .XXX domain. As you know, that also happens often with regard to less problematic domains such as .com .net or .org.  Why? One example: if you click on www.whitehouse.gov then you´re directed to where you want to go, but check out what happens if you click on www.whitehouse.net .

Antitrust concerns in relation to the ICANN aren´t new. Back in 2003 Professors Frookin and Lemley argued that the ICANN and its policies were contrary to antitrust law (Click here for their interesting paper ICANN and Antitrust).

The full case docket and legal filings are available here.

Written by Alfonso Lamadrid

22 November 2011 at 1:42 pm