The Internet’s O.G. Monopoly

The Internet has strayed far from first principles.

Though the subject of much concern and attention, the vast power accumulated by Big Tech platforms is mostly occurring at the Internet’s edge — where content and services are delivered.

But this doesn’t tell the whole story…

Much less understood are the Internet’s unseen layers — which include a fundamental root zone where coordination of domain names, IP addresses, and technical standards occurs.

Here, a single publicly-traded corporation named Verisign has amassed near-absolute power that it wields to maintain its grip on the Internet’s most-used domain name monopolies — .com and .net.

Private industry was allowed to self-regulate with the understanding that Internet critical infrastructure monopolies would be operated in the public interest.

but the unchallenged pursuit of billions of extremely profitable dollars has created aggressive and dangerous anti-competitive dynamics at the Internet’s root.

This purpose-built central repository uncovers, organizes, and amplifies relevant open-source information that includes archival records, published correspondence, documents from court proceedings, and many other publicly-available but often hard-to-find sources. This knowledge resource is for Internet users, Domain Name System (DNS) stakeholders, government policymakers, competition regulators, and others to learn more about an issue found by a U.S. federal appellate court to plausibly indicate an “illegal restraint of trade” and which the Internet Commerce Association, a trade group representing domain name registrants, has said results in consumers overpaying more than $1 billion for .com domain names — every year. This harms the overall economy by depriving small businesses and investors of capital that could be more productively invested in expanding businesses, launching new businesses, and creating jobs; it harms brand owners by increasing the costs of protecting their valuable assets online; and as well as to industry stakeholders and Internet users.

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