Verisign's pact with ICANN gets U.S. government nod but with pricing limits

Fri Nov 30, 2012 9:25am EST

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(Reuters) - Verisign Inc said the U.S. Department of Commerce approved its agreement with ICANN to run the .com internet registry, but the company will not be able to raise prices as before, sending its stock down 13 percent before the bell.

The company's current pricing of $7.85 per domain name registration will continue for the six-year term ending November 30, 2018.

Previously, the company had the right to increase prices by up to 7 percent four times in the contract period.

The company can increase prices in extraordinary circumstances, including expenses related to security threats, with approval from the Commerce Department, Verisign said.

Verisign maintains the .com domain under a license from the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and charges users and corporations every time they register or renew an existing .com domain name.

Verisign's agreement with ICANN expires on Friday.

The company has been maintaining the .com domain on behalf of ICANN for over 15 years, and its contract with ICANN is reviewed every six years.

Verisign holds separate licenses for .net, .gov, .edu and a number of other domain names.

Shares of the Reston, Virginia-based company were down at $34.17 in premarket trading. They closed at $39.34 on Thursday on the Nasdaq.

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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