The ZA Domain Name Authority (ZADNA) is locked in a battle with the ZA Central Registry (ZACR) over the cost of domain registrations.
In its annual financial statements, ZADNA said the dispute arose over its board’s resolution to increase domain registry fees from R7 to R12, exclusive of VAT.
ZADNA charges the ZACR a registry fee for domains registered within the .za namespace.
This money is taken from the R45 fee the ZACR charges registrars for domain registrations.
Registrars, usually hosting companies or ISPs, typically charge R80 per year per domain.
According to ZADNA, its board passed the price increase resolution in February 2016. The increase was meant to be effective from 1 June 2016.
ZADNA passed the increase despite its commitment to avoid a tariff hike until at least the end of 2017.
ZADNA, however, argued that the increase is limited to the fee between it and the ZACR.
It also downplayed concerns from industry that the ZACR would not be able to absorb the price hike.
ZADNA stated in its annual financial report that the decision to increase tariffs rests solely with it.
However, the ZACR has the right to dispute the increase and refer the matter to arbitration.
It also gives both parties the right to appeal the arbitrator’s decision, and ZADNA warned it is possible the matter may take a while to resolve.
While the dispute is pending arbitration, the ZACR continued to pay registry fees of R7 per domain during the 2016/17 financial year.
ZADNA said it obtained a legal opinion on its prospects of success in arbitration and found it has a strong case.
There is also the possibility it will receive its increased tariff backdated to 1 June 2016.
ZADNA – No comment
ZADNA was asked to comment on the dispute between it and the ZACR, but it did not reply to questions.