If you’re the owner of a valuable .com domain, then be prepared for the annual prices to keep it to start going up. After the registration price for a .com registration had been frozen at $7.85 (R125) since 2012, a new agreement has been proposed, that could see the price rise to nearly $13.50 (R210) per domain over the next 10 years.
The agreement (as reported by The Verge) allows Verisign, which has a contract to oversee .com domains, to raise the price by up to 7 per cent per year over most of the next decade. Verisign would be required to pause price increases for two years (2024 and 2025), but it would otherwise have authorization to steadily raise prices through 2029.
The group responsible for overseeing top-level internet domains, ICANN though is not the source of the price increases as the agreement comes more from a deal that Verisign reached with the Commerce Department in the US, who also has a say in the oversight of all .com domains, as they revealed in a blog post:
[ICANN] is not a price regulator and defers to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of Justice for the regulation of pricing for .COM registry services.
The agreement will only affect the .com domain, with the other domains priced and regulated differently, with South Africa’s own .co.za domain still set at an even cheaper price of around R75. It may be more expensive, but considering how many people automatically utilise .com in everything they do and the popularity of it, the cost for securing those domains for that annual fee is actually quite affordable, even if the cost of the regulation itself is also relatively low.
Last Updated: February 13, 2020