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Right to manage .CO may be given to Colombian government

On September 10, an ICANN board meeting will take place. The agenda includes the probable transfer of the .CO top-level domain to Colombia’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies. .CO is the Colombian ccTLD, but it is popular all over the world (largely because it is similar to .COM). For example, many companies use it for short links to their websites (such as G.co for Google or T.co for Twitter). According to Domain Name Stat, there are about 2.7 million domains registered there.

At first, the domain was managed by a Colombian company .CO Internet, but in 2014 it was acquired by Neustar for $109 million and then by GoDaddy earlier this year. It is noteworthy that the Colombian government still has full administrative control over the domain. GoDaddy’s current contract to run the domain for five years almost makes the company the domain’s technical operator while Colombia’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technologies retains full administrative control. This means that the decision that will almost certainly be made by the ICANN board today will simply formalize the current situation, according to Domain Incite. Under the current contract Colombia receives 81 percent of the profits from .CO, compared to the 6-7 percent it received under the old deal.

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