Reston’s Verisign cleared to raise price for .com domain registrations

Reston-based VeriSign says a total of 15 million domain names were added to the Internet in the fourth quarter of 2015. (Thinkstock)

WASHINGTON — Reston-based Verisign, which operates the .com domain registry through an agreement with the U.S. Department of Commerce, will be able to raise registration prices in the future under amended guidelines.

Verisign stock (NASDAQ: VRSN) gained as much as 25 percent in Friday trading.

The government extended the Cooperative Agreement with Verisign to manage the .com domain with amendments that provide Verisign pricing flexibility and will allow it to pursue with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) an up to 7 percent increase in the price for .com domain names in each of the last four years of its new six year agreement.

Prices could not be raised until two years from now. Verisign’s new Cooperative Agreement is now extended to November 30, 2024.

The amendment repeals Obama-era price controls.

The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said in a statement the amendments are “in line with policy priorities of the Trump Administration, provide market-based pricing flexibility and reduce the regulatory burden on Verisign.”

Verisign, which develops domain names, and tools and offers a wide array of security services, acquired Network Solutions and its .com, .net and .org registry, in 2000.

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