ccTLD registries are responsible for the country code TLDs. While ccTLDs are not the subject of this
paper it is necessary to take them into account because they do provide services than could be considered
substitutable for gTLDs. ccTLDs clearly provide competition to gTLDs, in their home markets, by
providing an alternative option for users. Beyond that, a growing number of ccTLDs are being marketed
outside their `home country' to a particular community or to the global market
). In some of these cases the meaning of the ISO 3166 1
country code top level domain is played down relative to a concept marketed with the name (
business instead of Belize).
Historically, most ccTLDs were operated by academic or governmental organisations. Some academic
or governmental organisations still play a role as a registry. However, most ccTLDs registries have shifted
from voluntary or
arrangements to having a dedicated institutional basis with private sector
involvement. Some are run for profit and others are not for profit. Whereas gTLDs registries need to have
an agreement with ICANN, it is not necessary for ccTLD registries to have a registry agreement with
ICANN. However, some ccTLDs registries have voluntarily entered into such an agreement with ICANN.
Market share of gTLD registries
If the gTLD market is defined as a separate and distinct market (
excluding ccTLDs) then Verisign
acts as the registry for 85% of all registrations (
). The Public Interest Registry (PIR) is the second
largest gTLD registry due to its responsibility for the
domain. Afilias performs the back end registry
responsibilities for the PIR. The PIR Afilias combination has an 8% market share of all gTLD registrations.
Afilias is also the registry responsible for the
registry function translates into a 3%
market share. NeuLevel is the company responsible for the
domain. NeuLevel's market share was 2%.
All other registries make up less than 1% of the gTLD market.
Figure 2. Market share of gTLDs registries, December 2003
: OECD, based on Registry Monthly Reports.