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A Private Equity Firm Is Blocked From Buying .Org


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Protesters outside the Los Angeles headquarters of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers in January.

The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers decided on Thursday to veto the sale of the rights to dot-org to Ethos Capital.

Credit: Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

A private equity firm will not gain control of dot-org, the digital real estate that is home to millions of nonprofits, nongovernmental organizations and community groups.

The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, which oversees the internet naming system, decided on Thursday night to veto the sale of the rights to dot-org to Ethos Capital, which had offered more than $1 billion.

Maarten Botterman, the chair of ICANN, wrote in a blog post that after all the considerations were weighed, rejecting Ethos's proposed bid was "reasonable, and the right thing to do."

Ever since the planned sale was announced in November, the deal had stirred fierce opposition. Dot-org is best known as the cyber neighborhood to nonprofit organizations with civic missions like the Red Cross (redcross.org), Human Rights Watch (hrw.org) and NPR (npr.org).

 

From The New York Time
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