ICANN delays .org sell off after California's attorney general intervenes at last minute, tears non-profit a new one over sale


"Empowering a for-profit entity that could undermine the accessibility and affordability of the .org domain, which serves nonprofits, should concern all of us," the California AG's office told The Reg.

"We're urging ICANN to deny the request to transfer control of the .org domain to a for-profit private equity firm. In California, we're committed to an Internet that serves everyone and we're simply concerned that this transfer puts profits above the public interest."

Those concerns include the fact that the .org registry, which acts as the online home to hundreds of thousands of non-profit organizations, would be turned into a for-profit organization as part of the sale.

"If, as proposed, Ethos Capital is permitted to purchase PIR, it will no longer have the unique characteristics that ICANN valued at the time that it selected PIR as the nonprofit to be responsible for the .ORG registry," Becerra's letter notes.

"In effect, what is at stake is the transfer of the world's second largest registry to a for-profit private equity firm that, by design, exists to profit from millions of nonprofit and non-commercial organizations."

A small glimmer of hope for the future of .org as ICANN has delayed the review period for a couple of weeks.