ICANN has decided to remove restrictions for cross-ownership of registries and registrars.
Who are the Winners and Losers?
ICANN’s decision to remove all cross-ownership restrictions between registries and registrars is a brave one in light of the chorus of doomsayers crying that consumers would be harmed by new registry business models and by having additional choices for their internet presence.
I think history will show that this decision is the correct one from a consumer’s perspective.
Within the domain name ecosystem, who are the winners and losers?
In terms of winners, it’s not the registrars who have been itching to become registries. None of their offerings will threaten the dominance of dot-com. Rather the real winners will be the major brands on the internet: Apple, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Microsoft. All of them already have more users than any registrar or registry. Any one of these could launch their own TLD to rival dot-com.
Who are the biggest losers? The Registrar channel. Registrars will no longer be assured of being able to offer new TLD’s to their customers. Registries will start to bypass their registrar partners and deal directly with end-users.
Registries will do just fine as their customers are not going anywhere. But they need to become more agressive in new product offerings in they want to grow. Innovation is necessary for both registries and registrars to remain relevant. This should be exciting!