According to Brad Bertoglio of Intersponsive Corporation, it looks like ICANN appears to be taking the position that it will not approve any application to provide URS services unless the actual applicant is directly a provider of other dispute resolution services, and potentially only UDRP providers.
Intersponsive Corporation was the first company to apply to ICANN to become a URS resolution provider, and commit to the pricing goals that ICANN set for the URS provider, however according to Bertoglio ICANN has also expressly rejected the approach provided for in Subsection A of it’s own “Information Concerning Approval Process for Dispute-Resolution Service Providers” which permits service provider applicants to demonstrate a detailed operating plan in lieu of a service track record.
“We explored other potential service provider structures as well (e.g. URS provider owned jointly by an existing dispute resolution service provider and an investment vehicle), and ICANN has inexplicably rejected this as well.
“Unfortunately our efforts to bring change and innovation to domain name dispute resolution have been thwarted by what we view as unwritten and anti-competitive restrictions.”
“Intersponsive’s pursuit of the URS opportunity appears to be at a stopping point.”
As you probably know only two organizations have been approved at this point to handle URS cases, The National Arbitration Forum (NAF), and the Asian Domain Name Dispute Resolution Centre (ADNDRC) which are also both UDRP resolution providers