Network Solutions to Pay Class Action Settlements
May 18, 2009
Network Solutions recently sent notices regarding settlement of two class action lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The lawsuits were filed by plaintiffs Chris McElroy (Case No. CV 08-01247 PSG (VBKx)) and James Lee Finseth (Case No. CV 08-01537 PSG (VBKx)) over questionable registrations tactics by Network Solutions between December 14th, 2007, and March 15th, 2008.
Network Solutions, during the time in question, engaged in what has been described as “Front Running” domain name registrations. In the Front Running scheme, Network Solution’s system would note when a visitor at their website queried the availability of a domain name. If the domain name was available, and the user left their website without registering it, Network Solutions would themselves secure the registration within 1 to 4 days.
The poorly thought out strategy behind this campaign was to prevent a user from registering the domain name with another Registrar after checking for availability at Network Solutions. All domain names secured by Network Solutions could be purchased and moved to an account at Network Solutions.
The first class of claimants are those who purchased the domain name during the same session the query for availability was conducted. The second class of claimants are those who purchased the domain name up to 4 days after the query for availability was conducted.
First class claimants will be eligible to receive a $6 credit for each domain name, and second class claimants will be eligible to receive a $9.91 credit for each domain name.
Network Solutions estimates approximately 113,094 domain names were registered during the time period. They will be paying approximately $375,000 to the first class and $500,000 to the second class. Additionally Network Solutions will be paying legal fees and costs to the Plaintiffs.
You can find out more information regarding the Settlement here.
Network Solutions maintains that it did not do anything wrong.