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Groups challenge sale of .org registry to private equity firm

Internet Society says domain prices won’t soar as a result of billion-dollar deal, but many associations and nonprofits aren’t so sure
Sullivan
Internet Society CEO Andrew Sullivan

Dec. 13, 2019
By Alison Bennett

The Internet Society funds its mission through the sale of .org domain names to millions of nonprofits worldwide. Now some of those customers are part of a growing backlash against a deal, announced in November, to sell the .org registry to a for-profit entity for $1.135 billion.

More than 17,000 individuals and nongovernmental organizations have endorsed an online letter urging the Internet Society (ISOC) to cancel its plans to sell the Public Interest Registry—manager of the .org domain since 2002—to private equity firm Ethos Capital. The sale is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020.