(By Balachander) Verisign Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) said the U.S. Department of Commerce approved the renewal of its 2012 .com registry agreement, and its shares retreated sharply in Friday early trading.
The Reston, Virginia-based provider of Internet infrastructure services agreed with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to serve as the authoritative registry operator for the .com registry for the term commencing on Dec. 1, 2012 through Nov. 30, 2018 with certain new terms and conditions.
Verisign said its current pricing of $7.85 per domain name registration will continue for the six-year term of the Agreement. In addition, Verisign no longer has the right to four price increases of up to seven percent over the six-year term.
The Commerce Department determined the 2012 .com Registry Agreement is in the public interest under Amendment 30 of the Cooperative Agreement between the Commerce Department and Verisign, the company noted.
"This is an important event that provides certainty and sets a clear direction for the Company," said Verisign CEO Jim Bidzos. "This certainty, combined with our strong portfolio of assets....positions us well to participate in the growing global market for Internet registry and infrastructure services."
Shares fell $5.80 or 14.74 percent to trade at $33.54 at 10.35 am ET on Friday. Over the past year, the stock has been trading in the range of 32.56 to $50.15.