, ICANN registrar, is closing its domain name re-seller Afternic, after paying $48 million for it two years ago.   In the ICANN Watch post-mortem, a post signed by Anonymous argued that there is a place in the world for people who register domain names for $9, and then warehouse them:

“The domain name system needs speculators to bring special domains to relevant industries. Don’t expect the owner of Acme Hardware Company to have the time to hunt through domain auction sites to find a good generic domain for his/her hardware business. He/she is too busy running Acme Hardware!”

The thing is that, unlike a speculator, if Acme Hardware’s advertising agency thought up a good generic domain name to promote Acme Hardware’s business, it wouldn’t buy the name first to ransom it to Acme.

I think domain name speculation is a tax on e-business and it wouldn’t be a bad thing if it petered out.  However, this is old news, and in the words of another poster in that thread:

“. . . I’ve had this argument with you, or some other Anonymous . . .”