The registrar Epik has been sold to a new company which, conveniently, is also called Epik. The details of the deal aren’t 100% public, but from what has been reported by Andrew and others it sounds like the transaction would have involved a cash injection equal to the beleaguered registrar’s debts.
Up until a couple of days ago Epik was owned by a company called Epik Holdings Inc based in Washington state. It is now owned by Epik LLC which is a newly formed entity in Wyoming. Wyoming is a popular state to setup shell companies and it’s not easy to see who is really behind a company registered in that state.
Sound odd to you? It definitely sounds a little “off” to put it mildly.
But here’s the thing.
ICANN sent Epik a breach notice (PDF) last week.
While the fees might have been the catalyst for ICANN Compliance finally taking action, they were far from the only issue that the company needs to address. Multiple people had reported issues with both new registrations not being processed and paid renewals expiring.
As a registrar Epik needs to be able to comply with all its obligations under the contract with ICANN. The letter lists a number of issues that ICANN expect Epik to address to their satisfaction – these our outlined on the second page of the letter.
Epik has until 22 June to address those issues as per the letter from last week.
However the recent change of control / sale of the registrar could further complicate matters for Epik.
ICANN will require that the new owners of Epik provide quite a bit of documentation around the transfer of assets. Essentially the “new” entity must be able to show that it is capable of providing the full suite of registrar services as well as complying with other parts of the RAA (the contract).
There’s a list of those criteria here.
So Epik, no matter who owns them, have to address multiple issues with ICANN or they could end up having their accreditation pulled completely which would finish them.