Verisign Issues Statement On ICANN’s Move & Is Down Over 5% In Pre-market

Verisign logo

VeriSign, Inc. VRSN today provided a statement on the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) announcement of its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions.

Verisign shares are down over 5% in pre-market activity trading at just over $52 a share.

Here is Verisign’s announcement:

“”The announcement by NTIA on Friday, March 14, 2014, does not affect Verisign’s operation of the .com and .net registries. The announcement does not impact Verisign’s .com or .net domain name business nor impact its .com or .net revenue or those agreements, which have presumptive rights of renewal.

The NTIA announcement involves Internet functions that are entirely different functions from those Verisign performs under its .com and .net agreements. The functions performed by Verisign involved in the NTIA announcement have been performed as a community service spanning three decades without compensation at the request of the Department of Commerce under the Cooperative Agreement”

Verisign Answers ICANN’s Name Collision Study With Its Own Blog Post

Earlier today we told you that ICANN Published A Study On Mitigating Risks Of Name Collisions from new gTLD domain names.

Tonight Verisign  published an answer to the study ICANN.

On its company blog Verisign, in a post entitled “Uncontrolled Interruption? Dozens of “Blocked” Domains in New gTLDs Actually Delegated”, Verisign in part says:

The report “centers on the technique of “controlled interruption,” initially described in a public preview shared by Jeff Schmidt last month.”

“With that technique, domain names that are currently on one of ICANN’s second-level domain (SLD) block lists can be registered and delegated for regular use, provided that they first go through a trial period where they’re mapped to a designated “test” address.  ”

“The staged introduction of new SLDs is intended to provide operators of installed systems the opportunity to assess the potential impact of an impending name collision on their own, before any external operators have an opportunity to exploit it.”

“If this technique (or any other) were adopted, it would stand to reason the staged introduction would need to be monitored carefully. ”

” Someone would need to check that SLDs on the block lists actually did go through the trial period, and were not put into regular use without the appropriate opportunity for assessment by operators of installed systems.”

(Note that Verisign isn’t endorsing the technique; we are reviewing the just-published Mitigating the Risk of DNS Namespace Collisions report, and we’ve already expressed reservations about the statistical invalidity of SLD block lists as an indicator of name collision risk.  That being said, the point still remains that if such a technique were adopted, it would need to be monitored to ensure correct implementation.)

“Given the anticipation of “controlled” interruption, it’s ironic that while ICANN specifically precludes the delegation of domain names on the SLD block lists, dozens of them were actually registered and delegated!”

“That fact was recently duly noted by one of Verisign’s researchers who has been analyzing the daily progress of new gTLDs.  As it turns out, nearly all delegated SLDs that should have been blocked were cancelled over the past weekend after independent reports citing the existence of inappropriate delegations began to circulate.:

:That the delegations of SLDs on the block lists could have caused name collisions with installed systems is not our primary concern.  (And, as noted above, we don’t consider the block lists – which are based solely on query frequency at specific points in time – to be the final word on which delegations might or might not cause name collisions. ”

Our concern, rather, is that domain names on the SLD block lists were delegated at all, given ICANN’s clear direction to the contrary.”

” As Pat “Kane and I have noted in a broader-ranging letter to NTIA on operational miscues in the new gTLD delegation process, a policy that’s unenforced is worse than no policy at all.”

“If this is the state of affairs when the answer is “no” – effectively, a state of “uncontrolled interruption” – what happens when the answer changes to “wait 120 days”?”

The study is now the subject of a comment period which ends on April 21st, 2014

 

Verisign Is Not Being Transparent on Their Policy With Regards to Short .TV Domains

Verisign logo

Back in December Mike wrote about how GM.tv and 13.tv were being held back and reserved by Verisign.

At the time Verisign said they were holding these back for promotional purposes. In the past Verisign did this with a few other short .tv domains like G.tv.

Domain Name: G.TV
Domain ID: 97041820
Updated Date: 2012-05-10T18:50:28Z
Creation Date: 2011-05-27T04:01:07Z
Expiration Date: 2021-05-27T04:01:07Z
Sponsoring Registrar: .TV RESERVED DOMAINS
Sponsoring Registrar IANA ID: 9998
Domain Status: SERVER-UPDATE-PROHIBITED
Name Server: No nameserver
DNSSEC: Unsigned delegation

So a couple weeks back HD.tv was supposed to drop and the same thing happened. I called Verisign but the person on the phone did not want to speak about it and wanted me to email the marketing department.

Here is that back and forth:

Dear  Raymond,

Thank you for inquiry regarding reserved .TV Domains. .TV reserved domains are domains that are not available for purchase because these domains are reserved. These domains are reserved at the registry level for use in specialized promotions aimed at generating significant brand awareness and adoption of the .tv tld. Please visit the following link for more information regarding .TV domain names.

Jaipal
Customer Service
Verisign

I know what reserved domains are, I am asking are you going to reserve all L and LL.tv domains ? Like you reserved Gm.tv and Hd.tv. Right now Fa.tv and Tw.tv are in redemption, will they be reserved ? Thank you

Raymond,

Thank you for contacting Verisign Support.  Unfortunately we do cannot disclose what domains may or may not be reserved in the future.  Those decisions will be made by the appropriate teams within the company when they determine there is a need or reason to do so.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best Regards,

Phil
Customer Service
Verisign
VerisignInc.com

So now I have another person replying, Phil, to which I asked, So what you are saying is you are not holding back all L.tv and LL.tv domains that are dropping ? I want to know if any will drop you should be able to answer that question.

Raymond,

Thank you for contacting Verisign Support.  Unfortunately that information is not available to the public.  We cannot tell you if a domain will be reserved or not. We apologize we cannot assist you with any addition information on this.

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Best Regards,

Phil
Customer Service
Verisign

This is getting borderline ridiculous, I am asking you is there policy where Verisign is now holding back all L.tv and LL.tv either you are or you aren’t.

No reply after that, but all of a sudden all 2 character.tv domains became unavailable to register. So names that were available like 9L.tv or n6.tv which usually went for $400 to $500 on Name.com as a one time premium, are not available to register.

I have been covering .tv for a long time, Verisign can do what they want that’s fine they own it. At least be honest with those that participate in the extension, people have money for instance tied up on backorders at Name.com. If they know these names are being reserved then they can release the backorder at Name.com and get a refund. For instance the HD.tv back order got released, if someone wanted to back order right now Name.com would charge them $450, not everyone in the world reads this blog, so someone could go and see the back order who may not be on top of everything and tie up $450 for no reason.

So if you are holding everything back, just say so, you at least owe your customers that.

Verisign CEO: “I Don’t See Anybody Who’s Going to Abandon The .Com For a New gTLD

The CEO and President of Verisign James Bidzos had some pretty interesting comments regarding the new gTLD’s and the effect they may have on .com and .net registrations during its earnings call today.

I have listened to the last several Verisign earnings call and this is the first time I can remember an analyst asking a pointed question about the new gTLD’s and their effect on the .com and .net registry.

The question was asked by JP Morgan Chase & Co:

Any thought to whether the gTLD program, whether people coming in for new sites might actually be thinking about an alternative gTLD for .com? And maybe that’s having some sort of impact?

D. James Bidzos, Founder, Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Verisign:

“”As far as the new gTLD program, I don’t think that, I don’t see anybody who’s going to abandon the .com for a new gTLD.

There’s a lot of strong anecdotal evidence that, that may not be the case.

I can give you an example. So, for example, you may have seen that the U.K. paper, dailymail.co.uk, a very typical English configuration for a web address, using a company that U.K. configuration.

So dailymail.co.uk purchased dailymail.com.

They said that they purchased it because they wanted something that was more global that would allow them to get more traffic, especially in the U.S.

They paid GBP 1 million for it.

They bought it from The Charleston Daily Mail of Charleston, West Virginia, a 100-year-old Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper, who after they got their roughly $1.6 million for that domain name, were free to go out and buy whatever they wanted.

Then they chose to go out and buy CharlestonDailyMail.com.

If they bought it for retail, they probably paid about $10 for it.

So I think .com is very much the preferred, established reliable name.

I don’t know what’s going to happen in the future with the TLDs.

I’m sure some of them will do well, they’ll build some community.

But I guess I can give you one data point. If we look back, this is not the first time this has happened.

There have been some new TLDs before, and one of them that I think actually is a good idea of what success what might look like, a good example would be .co.

And I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with it.

.co is a short name, it’s just 2 letters. It’s a meaningful name that’s linked to company.

They went live in July of 2010.

They had a very robust marketing partner, they partnered with Go Daddy, the largest registrar.

They did 3 Super Bowl ads. They did, I thought, a very good job of marketing.

They did partner with Go Daddy on 3 Super Bowl commercials.

They have a substantial marketing budget.

They had no gTLD competition when they came out. And they’re not ICANN-regulated because they’re operating under contract from the ccTLD .co for Colombia.

So their history was that when they went live in July of 2010, they registered 100,000 domains in the first 10 minutes that they were live.

Less than a year later, in June of 2011, they had reached 1 million domains.

During that same period, by the way, that 11-month period, .com registered about 7 million.

Just under 2 years later, by April of 2013, they had gone from 1 million to 1.5 million, so they added 500,000 domains during those 2 years.

During that period, .com added 13.2 million. And then from April of 2013 until December 31 of last year, they added another 90,000 names, they closed the year at 1.59 million.

.Com added another 3.5 million during that time.

I think they’ve done a great job with .co. I think they’ve been successful there.

They ended the year at 1.59 million domains.

Their growth has slowed a bit, obviously.

But in Q3, we added 1.55 million names, that’s the entire size of the .co zone.

We added that in one quarter.

We typically have 5x the size of their zone in gross adds in a quarter.

So I think with somewhat in the neighborhood of, I don’t know, 400 or 500 gTLDs that are non-brand that’ll be distributed, it’s going to be a little bit more crowded.

They’re obviously more specialized and different.

I’m not sure where that’s going to end up, but I do know that we have at least one data point booked.

I think we’ve coexisted well and done well with .co, and I’m sure we will with the other gTLDs.

And I’m sure there’ll be a lot of excitement as they roll out over the course of 2014.

Mr. Bidzos of Verisign went on to say;

.Net is over 15 million registrations, so it is rather sizable.

.co, which I talked about, which I think, again, is an indication of what a successful gTLD launch is, basically between July of 2010, when they launched in the end of 2013, December 31, that 1.5 million names is not an easy thing to do.

But .net is still roughly 10x that size.

In General Verisign said they expected “.com and .net names added to the zone in the first quarter of 2014 to be between 1 million and 1.5 million names.”

Versign Reports: 127.2 Million .Com/.Net Domains, Revenue up 10%; Has $1.7 Billion In Bank &

VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ :VRSN ) reported financial results for the fourth quarter of 2013 and year ended Dec. 31, 2013.

VeriSign, Inc. and subsidiaries (“Verisign”) reported revenue of $246 million for the fourth quarter of 2013, up 7% from the same quarter in 2012.

The operating margin was 53% for the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to 58.8% for the same quarter in 2012.

Verisign reported net income of $292 million and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.94 for the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to net income of $106 million and diluted EPS of $0.65 in the same quarter in 2012.

Financial Highlights

Verisign ended the fourth quarter with cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities of $1.7 billion, an increase of $167 million from year-end 2012.

Cash flow from operations was $147 million for the fourth quarter of 2013 and $579 million for the full year 2013 compared with $171 million for the same quarter in 2012 and $538 million for the full year 2012.

Business Highlights

Verisign Registry Services added 1.29 million net new names during the fourth quarter, ending with 127.2 million active domain names in the zone for .com and .net, which represents a 5 percent increase over the zone at the end of the fourth quarter in 2012.

In the fourth quarter, Verisign processed 8.2 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net as compared to 8.0 million for the same period in 2012.

During 2013, Verisign processed 34.0 million new domain name registrations as compared with 33.1 million for 2012.

The final .com and .net renewal rate for the third quarter of 2013 was 72.7 percent compared with 72.5 percent for the same quarter in 2012.

Renewal rates are not fully measurable until 45 days after the end of the quarter. Non-GAAP Items