ICANN Tentatively Settles VeriSign Dispute

Rhett Pardon
NEW YORK — ICANN said Monday it has decided to tentatively settle a longstanding dispute with VeriSign Inc.

The dispute stemmed in part from the Internet’s key oversight agency’s attempt to pressure VeriSign into suspending a search service it created in 2003 for guiding Internet users who mistype web addresses.

VeriSign, a private company that runs much of the Internet's core, agreed to suspend the service but responded later by suing ICANN first in federal court then in state court after a judge dismissed antitrust charges.

The settlement calls for the organization and VeriSign to sign a new contract “intended to balance innovation and business certainty with the need to ensure competition, security and stability in the domain name system,” according to ICANN.

ICANN's board unanimously endorsed sending the proposed settlement for public comment. Any settlement needs final approval by the board.