For their part, a second or third level domain name will commonly represent a considerable
investment for users which is valued far beyond the direct fee paid for the maintenance of the domain.
Indeed, some businesses and professional users are critically dependent on their domain name registration.
For these users the cost of transferring their business between registries may be prohibitive irrespective of
the amount of choice between registries. They can, of course, not transfer their name between registries.
There may, accordingly, be a need for safeguards, irrespective of the amount of market share a registry has
in the overall market because they have a monopoly over the registration under a particular TLD. ICANN
and the various bodies responsible for ccTLDs in each OECD country have the primary responsibility for
applying these safeguards through mechanisms such as contracts or agreed operating rules and procedures.
Registrar market share
If the market for registry services is relatively concentrated, the same can not be said for registrar
services. Following the reforms introduced by ICANN new entrants have rapidly gained market shares. In
December 2003, according to the registries monthly reports to ICANN, Network Solutions had the largest
market share of 21% for gTLDs registrations under
.biz and .name
Figure 5 and
). The other leading registrars are Tucows (Domain Direct) with a market share of 10%, Go Daddy
Software with a market share of 8.5%, Register.com with a market share of 8%, eNom with a market share
of 7% and Melbourne IT with a market share of 5.5%
Figure 5. The registrar market share of domain name registrations under major gTLDs
Direct) , 10.21%
Go Daddy Software,
Melbourne IT, 5.57%
: OECD, based on Registries Monthly Reports.