The DotPro (.pro) registry has asked ICANN to reduce the annual fees that they pay ICANN. In common with the other registry operators, .pro registry pays an annual fee to ICANN regardless of the number of domains that they manage. The full details of what each registry operator pays and how those fees are structured exactly (ie. if it’s a flat fee or fee plus per domain or any variation on this) are published as part of the ICANN budget.
The DotPro registry currently pays ICANN $121900 per year, even though they have a very small namespace. The registry operator is, therefore, asking ICANN to reduce their fees in order to release funds for expansion.
George Kirikos has already posted a scalding critique of the registry operator’s request and cites the registry’s original projections based on their perceived demand for .pro.
While the points raised by Kirikos are valid, the alternatives are not that palatable.
If a registry operator is struggling under a financial burden, then it would appear only reasonable that it would, like any other business, try to renegotiate the contract. If a reduction in the fees were to allow .pro to promote and expand their market share the amount that ICANN would receive per annum would obviously increase.
It will be interesting to see how the ICANN community respond to the call for comment.