Ethos Capital, the private equity firm, is preparing a move that will shake the internet. In the first quarter of 2020, it is expected to close a deal to buy out Public Interest Registry (PIR), which holds each domain . Org on the internet. The sale price has not yet been announced.
The non-profit organizations that make up the majority of .org domains do not agree to this acquisition.
There are currently about 10 millions of .org domains online. Reports of the takeover have garnered 8.900 anti-sale signatures and continue to grow, including the Girl Scouts of America and the YMCA.
The signatories are concerned that this could lead to increases in domain prices, according to SaveDotOrg, a non-profit technology professional's website run by NTEN.
"Concern is not just about this market," he told CNN in an interview Business Rick Cohen, CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits. "This is a market, in combination with the abolition of pricing ceilings that have protected non-profit organizations from the excessive increases in the .org domain prices they rely on."
PIR was created by 2002 Internet Society, a nonprofit that is a leader in Internet standards, education, access and internet policy. The idea was to entrust a specific organization with top-level .org domain management.
The founder and CEO of the company, Erik Brooks, said that not-for-profit organizations should not worry about big changes.
This would not be the first time a .org domain belonged to a for-profit company. Verisign owned the Public Interest Registry from 1995 to 2003.
But this latest move raises concerns: the Ethos has been operating for only six months and PIR is one of the company's first investments.