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Australians Said To Have Been ‘Ripped Off’ On Domain Names Since 2008

Australian domain name owners have claimed that the organisation governing .au domain names has been artificially inflating pricing within the Australian market.

According to a new report by the Sydney Morning Herald, “the wholesale price of a com.au domain name is $14.95 every two years with domain names then sold by retailers such as Melbourne IT which charges $153 every two years for a com.au domain name.”

Small business website owner Sean Fogarty told the Herald that “everyone in Australia has been ripped off for too long”.

Fogarty claims prices have been driven up by the conflicting interests that result from having members of AusRegistry as members of the .auDomain Administration Authority board (auDA).

“[auDA]’s been stacked at the board level by people with conflicts of interest who have made hundreds of millions of dollars out of this,” Fogarty says.

He claims AusRegistry “has done everything possible to keep things the way they are.”

“AusRegistry has not reduced its wholesale price as was the condition of its contract renewal in 2008.”

“They are making massive profits for it for their own interest,” he said.

Adrian Kinderis, chief executive of AusRegistry, has refuted the claims, saying there’s value in keeping the cost of .au domains competitive.

He argues that an increase in volume in domain names also brings with it an increase in costs for both service and security.

“No one wants to see, quite frankly, domain names commoditised when they become $1 or $2, they are a service that we are offering. With the advent of the new domain names you see different business model with charges from $1 to $1000. There is no one set price that a domain name should be. What you see with the cheaper domain names is they get filled with junk. The people with spam and pirate websites all participate in the cheaper domain names.”

“A healthy price keeps out those that want to do ill in the domain name space,” he says.

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