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Network Solutions Holding Domain Names Ransom
We're domain front-running so scammers don't have to!
by Karl Bode 09:21AM Thursday Jan 10 2008 Tipped by Jafo232 See Profile
Network Solutions is under fire this week for domain "front running," or for purchasing and holding certain domains after they're searched for at the company's website, thereby not letting anyone buy the domain at other registrars. For example, should you be in the business of eating aardvarks and try to search for the availability of the domain eataardvark.com at Network Solutions, the website will show you that it's available.

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Within seconds, Network Solutions subsequently registers the domain for five days, preventing users from buying it anywhere other than Network Solutions. Places where, in many instances, you might be able to get a better deal should you want to shop around.

After Internet anger began to bubble over this week Jonathon Nevett, Vice President of Policy at Network Solutions, issued a statement saying that the practice wasn't anti-competitive, it was a security feature:
...we have implemented a security measure to protect our customers. The measure will kick in when a customer searches for an available domain name at our website, but decides not to purchase the name immediately after conducting the search...You are correct that we are trying to take an arrow out of the quiver of the tasters. As you know, domain tasters are the largest Front Runners. [...] Some folks may not agree with our approach, but we are trying to prevent this malicious activity from impacting our customers.
In other words, Network Solutions solution for front running is to do it themselves, which in the process just happens to keep people from registering domains with competitors at lower prices. There's some additional discussion about this in our webmasters and developers forum.

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