NZ, Australia battle domain name registration spam

The New Zealand Commerce Commission is taking part in "informal discussions" with its counterpart in Australia, the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), over the spamming activities of Australia domain name registration companies.

The latest Australian company to use aggressive marketing tactics in New Zealand is Internet Registry, a Melbourne-based company, which has sent out thousands of unsolicited e-mails to domain name holders in New Zealand and Australia telling them to register the .com equivalent to their existing domain names to "avoid confusion".

That tactic, outlawed by Domainz, the company which controls the register of New Zealand domain names, has annoyed many including the Domainz chief executive Derek Locke who has shut off access to Internet Registry's New Zealand Web site.

Now the Commerce Commission is looking into the matter.

"It's not a formal investigation at this stage, we're just looking into it to see if it should become a formal investigation. We're also talking with the ACCC about the issue," says a Commerce Commission spokeswoman. She says no complaints have been laid with the commission over this particular incident, but that she has been talking with Locke at Domainz about the problem.

Internet Registry's activity follows a similar attempt by Internet Name Group (ING) which also resulted in Domainz cutting off the company's right to sell .nz domain names. ING threatened to sue Internet commentator Bruce Simpson over comments he made about the company in his Aardvark Web site, however Simpson says he has not heard from ING's lawyers.

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Paul Brislen

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