Domain Snatchers Hit With Lawsuit

ICANN also named for allowing frontrunning practice
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 12:10 PM CST
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers head Peter Dengate Thrush is seen during the 30th International Public ICANN meeting in Los Angeles in this Oct. 29, 2007 file photo.(AP Photo/Damian...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A class-action lawsuit filed yesterday targets a top purveyor of domain names and its alleged practice of “frontrunning,” Network World reports. Network Solutions essentially registers a domain name the second a customer searches for it, forcing the customer to pay the company’s above-market rate of $35 for the address. The suit also names ICANN for "aiding and abetting fraudulent concealment."

“Imagine if you asked a car dealer if they had a black convertible and were then forced to buy the car from them,” says the lead counsel. “Would you get a good deal?” Network Solutions says the practice protects consumers from other frontrunners or “domain tasters,” who buy thousands of addresses, then charge exorbitant fees.