[Governance] Acquisition of Afilias by Donuts

Suresh Ramasubramanian suresh at hserus.net
Fri Nov 20 06:28:03 EST 2020

What would be Parminder’s reaction if they joined various civil society organisations rather than “big domain name” (like big telecom, big lumber and all the other bigs?)? 😊


From: Governance <governance-bounces at lists.igcaucus.org> on behalf of Ayden Férdeline via Governance <governance at lists.igcaucus.org>
Reply to: Ayden Férdeline <ayden at ferdeline.com>
Date: Friday, 20 November 2020 at 4:40 PM
To: parminder <parminder at itforchange.net>
Cc: <governance at lists.igcaucus.org>
Subject: Re: [Governance] Acquisition of Afilias by Donuts


Thanks Parminder,


On the revolving door point - I have also noticed that many former ICANN execs are now working at companies in the domain name space, and others have pointed this out as well. But I don't see why there would be anything wrong with that unless, for example, they made decisions prior to leaving ICANN purely for the benefit of their post-ICANN careers and against the best interests of the ICANN community. If you (or anyone else) are able to provide verifiable evidence of such, I think there would be considerable media interest in such a story...


Best wishes,


Ayden Férdeline



‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Friday, November 20th, 2020 at 05:32, parminder via Governance <governance at lists.igcaucus.org> wrote:

I understand all that this is being directed by a murky mafia behind the scene, of which we got some sightings during the .org saga. This mafia both consists of ex-CANNers and is in cahoots with existing people in ICANN... This is why revolving doors is such a bad word in policy and governance circles.... But wasnt the multistakeholderism version practised by ICANN always a formalisation and white-washing of revolving doors... parminder

On 20/11/20 4:01 AM, Ayden Férdeline via Governance wrote:

Hi all,


Just flagging this press release that says Afilias has been acquired by Donuts:




This means that Donuts now owns over 450 generic top-level domains (out of a total of 1,200). The (continued) consolidation in the domain name industry is something that civil society might want to track. I am not sure if this sale is problematic from a competition perspective (though that is my gut reaction), but it is significant nonetheless.


Donuts is owned by private equity firm Abry Partners, connected to former ICANN CEO Fadi Chehade.


Afilias, which Donuts is now acquiring, is paid roughly $20 million a year by the Public Interest Registry to offer backend services. Late last year another Fadi Chehade-connected entity, Ethos Capital, attempted to acquire the Public Interest Registry.


Best wishes,


Ayden Férdeline


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