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Network Solutions, ICANN sued

Web hosting provider Network Solutions and has been hit with a federal class action lawsuit on Monday for allegedly front-running domain names. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers was also named in the lawsuit because "its policies facilitated the scheme."

The lawsuit was filed by consumer law firm Kabateck Brown Kellner ( over Network Solutions' controversial practice of locking up domain names as soon as they were searched for on its website, preventing other companies from selling it and forcing consumers to pay Network Solutions' pricier fees, says the law firm.

ICANN was also named in the lawsuit because its policies facilitated Network Solutions' actions and the organization was failing to prevent front-running from happening in the future, says Kabateck Brown Kellner.

"Imagine if you asked a car dealer if they had a black convertible and were then forced to buy the car from them. Would you get a good deal?" says Brian Kabateck, lead counsel in the class action and Kabateck Brown Kellner's managing partner.

"Each time someone asks Network Solutions about a domain name, the firm creates a monopoly for itself, forcing consumers to pay the price they demand."

The controversy was brought to public attention in early January when Network Solutions was accused of front-running domain names, despite its defense that it was actually implementing a pre-emptive security measure to protect customers from domain tasters and front-running from external threats.

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