ICANN Resolutions » Consideration of Reconsideration Request 19-2

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Consideration of Reconsideration Request 19-2


Resolution of the ICANN Board
Meeting Date: 
Sun, 3 Nov 2019
Resolution Number: 
2019.11.03.01
Resolution Text: 

Whereas, Namecheap Inc. (Requestor) filed a reconsideration request (Request 19-2) challenging ICANN organization's 2019 renewal of the Registry Agreements (RAs) with Public Interest Registry (PIR) and Afilias Limited (Afilias) for the .ORG and .INFO generic top-level domains (gTLDs), respectively (collectively, .ORG/.INFO Renewed RAs), insofar as the renewals eliminated "the historic price caps" on domain name registration fees for .ORG and .INFO.1

Whereas, the Requestor claims that ICANN org's "decision to ignore public comments to keep price caps in legacy gTLDs is contrary to ICANN's Commitments and Core Values, and ICANN should reverse this decision for the public good."2 The Requestor also asserts that ICANN Staff failed to consider material information concerning the nature of .ORG and security issues with new gTLDs when it executed the .ORG/.INFO Renewed RAs.3

Whereas, pursuant to Article 4, Section 4.2(l), the Ombudsman accepted Request 19-2 for consideration, and, after investigating, concluded that "the CEO and Staff acted within the scope of the powers given them by the Board," and that "no rules or duties of corporate governance were violated (including the ICANN Bylaws)."4

Whereas, the Board designated the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee (BAMC) to review and consider Reconsideration Requests and make recommendations to the Board on the merits of those Requests. (See Bylaws, Art. 4, § 4.2(e).) However, the BAMC is empowered to act only upon consideration by a quorum of the Committee.5

Whereas, the majority of the BAMC members have recused themselves from voting on Reconsideration Request 19-2 due to potential or perceived conflicts, or out an abundance of caution. Accordingly, the BAMC does not have a quorum to consider Request 19-2. Therefore, the Board is considering Request 19-2 in lieu of a Recommendation by the BAMC.

Whereas, the Board has carefully considered the merits of Request 19-2 and all relevant materials and concludes that ICANN org's execution of the .ORG/.INFO Renewed RAs did not contradict ICANN's Bylaws, policies, or procedures, and that ICANN Staff did not fail to consider material information in executing the Agreements. Accordingly, the Board proposes denying Request 19-2.

Resolved (2019.11.03.01), the Board adopts the Proposed Determination on Reconsideration Request 19-2.

Rationale for Resolution: 

The Board is taking this action today pursuant to Article 4, Section 4.2 of the ICANN Bylaws. Under Section 4.2 of the Bylaws, the Board designated the Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee (BAMC) to review and consider Reconsideration Requests before making recommendations to the Board on the merits of those Requests. See Bylaws, Art. 4, § 4.2(e). However, the BAMC is empowered to act only upon consideration by a quorum of the Committee.6 The majority of the BAMC members have recused themselves from voting on Reconsideration Request 19-2 due to potential or perceived conflicts, or out an abundance of caution. Accordingly, the BAMC does not have a quorum to consider Request 19-2. Therefore, the Board has considered and issues the Proposed Determination in lieu of a Recommendation by the BAMC.

The Board has carefully considered the merits of Request 19-2 and all relevant materials. For the reasons set forth in the Proposed Determination, which are incorporated here, the Board concludes that ICANN org's execution of the .ORG/.INFO Renewed RAs did not contradict ICANN's Bylaws, policies, or procedures, and that ICANN Staff did not fail to consider material information in executing the Agreements. Accordingly, the Board proposes denying Request 19-2.

Pursuant to Article 4, Section 4.2(q), the Requestor has 15 days from the receipt of the Board's Proposed Determination on Request 19-2 to submit a rebuttal. Following the rebuttal period, the Board will issue a final determination on Request 19-2 in accordance with Article 4, Section 4.2(r) of the Bylaws.

This action is within ICANN's Mission and is in the public interest as it is important to ensure that, in carrying out its Mission, ICANN is accountable to the community for operating within the Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws, and other established procedures. This accountability includes having a process in place by which a person or entity materially affected by an action of the ICANN Board or Staff may request reconsideration of that action or inaction by the Board. This action should have no financial impact on ICANN and will not negatively impact the security, stability and resiliency of the domain name system.

This decision is an Organizational Administrative Function that does not require public comment.