VeriSign beat out four other bidders for the six-year contract; VeriSign has been administering the .net top level domain, the Internet's third-largest top level domain, as well as the top dog,.com, since 2001.
ICANN had hired an independent evaluator, Telcordia, to produce recommendations on which company -- VeriSign, Afilias, Denic, Sentan Registry Services, and CORE++ -- received the .net responsibilities.
In April, Telcordia said that all five bidders could handle the job, but gave the edge to the incumbent, VeriSign. In May, Telcordia returned with an additional evaluation based on further comments from the five.
VeriSign plans changes to .net, including a reduction in the fees it charges registrars, from $6 per name to $4.25.
Although the award to VeriSign was expected, ICANN and the Mountain View security and Internet services company have long been at odds. In 2003, ICANN forced VeriSign to stop its Site Finder service, which directed users to mistyped or invalid domain names. That year, VeriSign brought lawsuits against ICANN, saying that it had interfered with new services VeriSign wanted to offer; the suit was dismissed. In 2004, VeriSign tried again, this time with a suit claiming that ICANN violated the terms of the 2001 deals to manage .net and .com. That case is still pending.
When VeriSign submitted its proposal for renewing the .net management, an executive said ""We hope the decision on .net will be based on merit."