Afilias was vocally opposed to vertical integration and cross-ownership between registrars and registries. Several of its policy staff were active participants in the VI (vertical integration) working group within the GNSO for the last few months. And if you have a few hours to spare you can trawl through the email archives and meeting recordings to get a “feel” of their stance.
So now that the board has decided to permit cross-ownership and vertical integration it was going to be interesting to see how Afilias would interact with the registrars.
Neustar’s position on VI was much more “open”, so their announcement of a registry service solution for registrars last week probably wouldn’t have provoked much of a backlash.
Afilias are going down the same route, but you would have to wonder if their position on VI will have damaged their position with respect to their potential clients.
Would registrars want to use Afilias to run a registry service on their behalf?
Or would they be more likely to opt for a service provider that wasn’t openly opposed to the introduction of competition?