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The Vertical Integration Working Group (VIWG) is an ICANN body tasked with assessing and suggesting policies for gTLDs, as related to Vertical Integration. These proposals should also serve as the guidelines and support the planning of new policies and recommendations.


Objectives chartered for the Vertical Integration Working Group (VIWG) as approved by the GNSO:

  • To propose recommendations for the new and existing policies that will act as a guideline to provide specific directions to the ICANN staff and new gTLD applicants. The guidelines thus recommended will resolve the issue of whether the contracts for new gTLD registries can use Vertical Integration or otherwise deviate from current forms of registry-registrar separation, and equivalent access and non-discriminatory access.
  • To review the current and previous ICANN gTLD registry contracts and policies to identify the current and previous restrictions and practices concerning registry-registrar separation, and equivalent access and non discriminatory access in place.
  • To note the various changes in the contracts and policies of the new gTLD registrations with ICANN and check for current and previous proposals and policies while using the registry-registrar separation, and equivalent access and non-discriminatory access in place.
  • To determine the potential impacts of the recommendations on the affected parties and be reasonable with time and assist to the full extent with all the problems.
  • To perform the Policy Development Process (PDP) in a planned manner to avoid any delays for launching the new gTLD Program.
  • The VIWG will assess the relationship between VI and CO (Cross Ownership) if any. (Cross ownership (CO) is defined as the controlling ownership of a share of a registry by a registrar, or vice-versa.)[1][2]


  2. st.icann.orgVertical Integration Reposrt