Hey, finally some good news. ICANN vetoed the sale of the .org registry to a private equity firm today, which keeps the registry as a non-profit vehicle. As with all private equity deals, the sale threatened to saddle the registry with up-front debt, thus requiring a giant rate hike handed down to all domain-holders to try and pay off that debt. Nobody really knows who Ethos Capital is, or who owns them, or what their plans were. But some digging uncovered a likely motive:
Financial experts soon warned that an unusual structure of six different shell companies built around Ethos Capital, all of which had been registered on the same day and just days before they approached the Internet Society to acquire the registry, looked like an asset-stripping arrangement that would potentially leave the crucial registry deeply in debt and .org owners paying the price.
I’m glad the Attorney General of California stepped in so aggressively, but it’s a fucking shame at how fast ICANN was ready to sell us up the river.