Private Equity Shop Ethos Capital Buys the .Org Domain Registry
The price of “.org” properties could soon be going up
Ethos Capital has purchased the Public Internet Registry, the group that maintains the .org registry. The private equity firm purchased the registry from the Internet society, according to a statement this week. The deal marks the end of nearly two decades of control by the Internet Society.
This news immediately sparked concerns and backlash against the deal. The Public Internet Registry established itself as a non-profit domain registry. After its start, “.org” was viewed for non-profit use as alternatives to the commercial earmark tied to the “.com” extensions. For example, Google uses a “.org” domain to promote its philanthropy efforts.
PIR data shows that users have registered 10.3 million “.org” domains, with each paying just $9.95 per year. PIR generated $93 million in 2018, with operating income sitting at $45.9 million.
Ethos Capital Buys Public Internet Registry After Price Caps Removed
The news comes a few months after ICANN announced plans to remove price caps on .org domain names. These domains have been historically inexpensive. That plan also faced public opposition. Just six for the more than 3,000 public comments on the price hikes supported the plan. However, “.org” extensions are not the only ones to see the removal of price caps. Both “.info” and “.biz” eliminated price caps in 2019.
According to itNews, the Public Internet Registry could shift from a non-profit to a B or a “Benefit corporation.” This new U.S. business entity allows companies to aim to achieve something different than generating a profit.
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