ICANN board votes to reject .org registry sale to private equity firm Ethos Capital

“The ICANN Board finds that the public interest is better served in withholding consent as a result of various factors that create unacceptable uncertainty.”

ICANN, the entity that oversees web addresses, said on Friday it voted against a $1.1 billion deal to sell control of .org domains to a private investment firm. The decision follows persistent protest and activism “from internet pioneers and officials including California’s attorney general [Xavier Becerra],” reports Joe Menn at Reuters on Friday.

This means the dot-org domain WILL NOT be sold to the private equity firm Ethos Capital, a story we've been covering here on Boing Boing since the beginning.

Excerpt from Reuters:

The surprise plans by the Internet Society to sell the Public Interest Registry to a newly formed for-profit firm, Ethos Capital, announced in November, provoked alarm from many of the more than 10 million entities that use the .org suffix, associated with non-profit organizations.

ICANN, the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers, which gave the assignment of .org to the Internet Society and retains some rights, said on Thursday it was rejecting the deal.

In particular, it cited concerns that there would be a drive to reward Ethos stockholders while repaying $300 million in debt taken on during the transaction.

You can read the official announcement from ICANN here. It's a little hard to follow, unless you're used to reading legalese -- so here are some tweets from observers and reporters who've been following the dot-org potential sale controversy for a long time.

[via techmeme]