Network Solutions, one of the first domain registrars from the early 1990s, has always charged exceptionally high prices for annual registrations of domain names. Sure, there is a base fee that goes to ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers responsible for the global coordination of the Internet’s system of unique domain names.
Now, Network Solutions has begun to grab domain names that people search for on its Web site but don’t immediately register. According to AP Internet Writer Jesdaunun, “the name is locked up for about four days, during which the person who made the search can buy it directly from the company for $35 a year – a few times more than what many of its rivals charge. After that, the name returns to the pool and can be registered by anyone through any registration company.”
“Spokeswoman Susan Wade said Network Solutions was trying to combat domain name front running — the use of insider information to snatch desired domain names before an individual or business can register them. Wade said the company was making adjustments in response to feedback but considered its measure a benefit for customers – by preventing domain name speculators and others with questionable intentions from grabbing the name first.”
“We are not front running,” she said. “We are not monetizing the page. We have no intent in keeping it. We have no intent in selling it in secondary markets at inflated prices — that is front running.”
Jesdaunun goes on that “in October, the Security and Stability Advisory Committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers launched a probe into domain name front running and likened it to a stock broker buying or selling shares ahead of a client’s trade, in anticipation of a movement in price. The committee said the practice isn’t necessarily prohibited under current regulations but could dampen the domain name industry’s image within the Internet community.”
As a business with more than 10 years working to get client’s the best deal, there is no reason to ever go with Network Solution’s $35/year pricing. You should be paying about $7/year. Period.