Profiteering

Nominet is a non-profit company limited by guarantee. It has members who act as shareholders, but without the right to participate in the profits of the company. Anyone can become a member, but most members are internet service providers who are also registrars.

See: Articles of Association

Over recent years the Nominet executive has changed its public status from ‘not for profit’ to ‘profit with a purpose’:

Timeline

25th November 2015 – Nominet increases .uk cost price by 50%
23rd May 2018 – Nominet Trust evolves into ‘Social Tech Trust’
14th June 2019 – Nominet forms mergers & acquisitions committee
1st October 2019 – Nominet increases .uk cost price by another 15p
21 February 2020 – Nominet announces acquisition of Cyglass

Profit from these proposals

Nominet says:

One of our concerns with implementing an auction model is that there will be a perception that this is merely a way of raising funds for Nominet. We have therefore set out our intention on how we think any additional profit should be spent to best benefit the .UK namespace and invited stakeholder comment. We have also extended this rationale to any profits received from an economically controlled access system (Option 2).

If either of the options proposed are implemented, we envisage that any profits derived from the auction or economically controlled access models will be directed towards public benefit activity and/or ringfenced to provide specific services to registrars e.g. a training fund. However, we are also seeking ideas on how any profits would be best spent to benefit the .UK namespace in this consultation.

Page 14 – Nominet Consultation