ICANN rejects .org sale

The Board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has decided to withhold consent of the proposed transfer of the Public Interest Registry (PIR) – the .org registry – from the Internet Society to Ethos Capital. In a blog post announcing the decision, the Board noted that ‘the public interest is better served in withholding consent as a result of various factors that create unacceptable uncertainty over the future of the third largest generic top-level domain (gTLD) registry’. However, the approved Board resolution also says that the decision to reject PIR’s request ‘is without prejudice to PIR to submit a new notice of indirect change of control and entity conversion for consideration if PIR successfully achieves an entity conversion approval in Pennsylvania through the Pennsylvania Court, which the ICANN Board and org will consider when evaluating any new notice’. At the moment, a court in Pennsylvania is to decide whether to authorise PIR’s request of conversion from a not-for-profit to a for-profit entity. ISOC, PIR, and Ethos have expressed their disappointment over ICANN’s decision.