Verisign, the US government-backed Registry for .com (and .net), plans to raise prices in 2022 and will be followed by annual price increases to cope with rising costs, including the expense of protecting the internet’s infrastructure from constant cyberattacks.

Some criticism has been directed at Verisign, because of a no-bid deal between the Trump administration and the company that holds a monopoly on managing the most domain name in the world, the .com.

According to Politico, the Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama administrations’ contracts with Verisign all imposed caps on the fees Verisign can charge, and Bush’s Commerce Department even lowered them. But the Trump administration did away with limits in 2018, allowing the company to raise prices by as much as 7 percent in most years. The new agreement also includes an automatic renewal every six years — making the arrangement perpetual.

Verisign has defended the move:

“The wholesale price of .com domain names has not kept up even with inflation, much less with increasing demand for Internet services and online presence that has driven increased demand for domain names across the industry,”

The internet had 364.6 million registered domain names as of Sept. 30, according to Verisign. Of those, 158.6 million end in .com, making it by far the largest. By comparison, the next largest top-level domain is .tk, with just 24.7 million registered domain names.

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