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Registrar Firms Oppose ICANN-VeriSign Agreement

Domain registrars are seeking to derail the new agreement between VeriSign and the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) before the U.S. Department of Commerce approves the deal.

"We are bitterly disappointed, but we're not giving up yet," said Bob Parsons of leading domain name registrar in a statement Wednesday. "I personally don't have a problem with VeriSign making a fair profit, but that's not what we're talking about here. I have a big problem with VeriSign's windfall profits being accomplished outside of the free enterprise system in which the rest of us must compete."

In a split decision, ICANN's directors agreed to settle a lengthy dispute with VeriSign, which is the official operator for the .COM registry. Board chairman Vint Cert, the Internet pioneer who is often called the "father of Web," led the voting in favor of the settlement. He currently is Google's "chief Internet evangelist".

The agreement now goes to the Commerce Department and opposition is already developing in Congress, led by Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va., who had complained of the proposed agreement's "serious anti-competitive implications."

In noting that the agreement with VeriSign involves the .COM generic top-level domain (TLD), ICANN said it looks forward to a "new and productive relationship" with VeriSign.

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