Private Equity Company Acquires .Org Registry

The sale of one of the internets most popular registries to a private equity firm has revived concerns over how the domain name system is governed.

The Internet Society and Public Interest Registry (PIR) have announced an agreement with Ethos Capital, under which Ethos Capital will acquire PIR and all of its assets from the Internet Society. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of next year.

This gives Internet Society a huge (as yet unknown) endowment rather than worrying about what the future of the .org domain name holds. PIR generated $101 million in revenue in 2018 and contributed nearly $50 million to Internet Society.

The proposed sale removes all price controls on .org.

Numerous organizations have mounted a letter-writing campaign (currently over 7700 letters) opposing the sale.