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ICANN votes down controversial .org sale proposal

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US-IT-LIFESTYLE-HEALTH-VIRUS-ICANN Photo by MARK RALSTON/AFP via Getty Images

The organization that oversees internet domain names has rejected a proposal to transfer management of the .org top-level domain from a nonprofit to a private equity group. ICANN said it wouldn’t approve the sale of .org operator Public Interest Registry because it would create “unacceptable uncertainty” for the domain, citing concerns about debt and the intentions of the for-profit firm Ethos Capital.

In a blog post, ICANN’s board said the sale would have given up the current focus of PIR in favor of “an entity that is bound to serve the interests of its corporate stakeholders, and which has no meaningful plan to protect or serve the .org community.” It also noted that the sale would leave PIR with a $360 million debt that could...

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