Verisign, the domain name registry that controls the .com domain (as well as .net and others), just notified its registrars (the companies that actually sell domain names to end users) that the wholesale price of .com domains will be raised 7%, from $6/year to $6.42/year. Expect registrars, particularly discount registrars with little margin to play with, to raise their prices by roughly the same amount.
This doesn’t sound like much of an increase, but Verisign now has the right, pursuant to a renegotiated contract with ICANN, to continue to raise wholesale prices 7%/year pretty much indefinitely. And with roughly 65 million .com domain names registered worldwide, Verisign just added $27 million dollars per year to their bottom line.
It’s good to be a monopoly.