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Network Solutions Settles FTC Deception Charges

Internet registrar Network Solutions Inc. settled a complaint charging the company with sending deceptive mail solicitations to domain-name owners that duped them into transferring their registrations, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.

The mailers told domain-name owners that their domains were about to expire, when in many cases the expiration date was months or weeks away, the FTC said. Network Solutions offered to renew the domain names, which are the URL addresses for Web sites, for a fee, according to the FTC.

In addition, the renewal offers failed to disclose that by having Network Solutions renew the domain names, consumers would transfer the domain name to Network Solutions, often for a higher fee than what they had paid previously, the FTC said.

Under the FTC settlement, Network Solutions agreed to avoid such misrepresentations in the future and to add further disclosures to its solicitations to consumers, including the name of their current registrar and the expiration date of their domain name.

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