The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and
Numbers (ICANN) is a nonprofit entity organizing Internet domain names.
It is governed by a board of directors elected by various groups with
commercial interests in the Internet. One of ICANN’s functions is to
authorize an entity as a registry for certain “Top Level Domains”
(TLDs). ICANN entered into an agreement with Verisign to serve as
registry for the “.com” TLD to provide registry services in accordance
with ICANN’s specifications. Verisign complained that ICANN was
restricting the services that it could make available as a registrar and
blocking new services, imposing unnecessary conditions on those
services, and setting prices at which the services were offered.
Verisign claimed that ICANN’s control of the registry services for
domain names violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Using the
information presented in the chapter, answer the following questions.
ICANN’s actions be judged under the rule of reason or be deemed a per
se violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act? Explain your answer.
- Should ICANN’s actions be viewed as a horizontal or a vertical restraint of trade? Explain.
- Does it matter that ICANN’s leadership is chosen by those with a commercial interest in the Internet? Why or why not?
- If the dispute is judged under the rule of reason, what might be ICANN’s defense for having a standardized set of registry services that must be used?
This comes from the textbook: “The Legal Environment of Business: Text and Cases”
Syllabus(ISBN- 13: 978-0-538-45399-8)