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UK companies may lose .eu domains

The European Commission has announced that it will cancel all 300,000 domains under the .eu top-level domain that have a UK registrant, following Britain’s departure from the European Union.

The document states, “As of the withdrawal date, undertakings and organizations that are established in the United Kingdom but not in the EU and natural persons who reside in the United Kingdom will no longer be eligible to register .eu domain names, or if they are .eu registrants, to renew .eu domain names registered before the withdrawal date.”

The EC had also suggested that existing .eu domains might be cancelled the moment Brexit happens in March 2019 with no right of appeal.

“As a result of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, a holder of a domain name does no longer fulfil the general eligibility criteria… the Registry for .eu will be entitled to revoke such domain name on its own initiative and without submitting the dispute to any extrajudicial settlement of conflicts.”

EURid, the company responsible for granting .eu domains has claimed on its website that it was not consulted or informed before the news was made public, “Yesterday afternoon, EURid, the registry manager of the .eu TLD, received the link to the European Commission’s communication concerning Brexit and the .eu TLD.”

It is estimated that there are 317,000 .eu domains registered in the UK – roughly 10% of all registered .eu domains. Cancelling them would have a huge impact on EURid, and on the EU which receives millions of euros every year from the registry.

There is a glimmer of hope for those in the UK that have registered .eu domains, however. The announcement states that its decree is “subject to any transitional arrangement that may be contained in a possible withdrawal agreement” – meaning that it could form part of a large Brexit agreement between the UK government and EU.

Read more about this story on The Register

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