U.S. Federal District Court Dismisses VeriSign's Anti-Trust Claim Against ICANN with Prejudice

Aug 27, 2004, 01:00 ET from ICANN

    LOS ANGELES, Aug. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- ICANN confirmed today that Judge A.
 Howard Matz of the U.S. District Court, Central District of California has
 issued an order dismissing VeriSign, Inc.'s anti-trust claims against ICANN,
 with prejudice.  In dismissing VeriSign's anti-trust claims, Judge Matz noted
 that VeriSign had failed in its first amended complaint to sufficiently allege
 an anti-trust claim.
     Judge Matz held a hearing on ICANN's motion to dismiss the lawsuit on
 Monday of this week.  In issuing his ruling on August 26, the court tossed out
 VeriSign's anti-trust claims and held that VeriSign has not alleged and cannot
 allege that the "co-conspirators" named by VeriSign controlled ICANN's board.
 The court also held that VeriSign has not alleged and cannot allege (based
 upon the ICANN Bylaws) that those Supporting Organizations within ICANN's
 structure that include VeriSign competitors dominate ICANN's board.
     "The U.S. federal court's decision serves as another important affirmation
 of ICANN's multi-stakeholder participatory model, and reaffirms the ICANN
 structure," stated John Jeffrey, ICANN's General Counsel.  "ICANN is not
 subject to capture by any commercial or other interest, including VeriSign,"
 he added.  ICANN was represented in the litigation by Joe Sims and Jeffrey
 LeVee, partners at the law firm of Jones Day.
     The Court dismissed VeriSign's original complaint on May 18, 2004 but had
 allowed VeriSign to file a first amended complaint to try to strengthen its
 legal arguments.  With the Judge's dismissal today of VeriSign's anti-trust
 claims, VeriSign's remaining causes of action based upon contractual based
 claims resulting from the ICANN/VeriSign registry agreements for the operation
 of .com and .net must be re-filed in California state courts.
     The judge's decision is available at: http://www.icann.org/legal/verisign-
 v-icann/verisign-v-icann-dismiss-26aug04.pdf.   ICANN's motion to dismiss is
 available at:
     ICANN is an internationally organized, public benefit non-profit
 responsible for coordinating Internet Protocol (IP) address space allocation,
 protocol identifier assignment, generic (gTLD) and country code (ccTLD) Top-
 Level Domain name system management, and root server system management
 functions.  For more information please visit: http://www.icann.org.