What is an AGP
The ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), have an option of choosing a five-day “Grace Period” during registration of a domain. During this grace period, the registrant can test the domain or decide on keeping it. If the registrant chooses to cancel the domain, the payment would be fully refunded by the domain registry.
This privilege provided to registrars by ICANN has been under major controversy as millions of domains are being registered and discontinued everyday. Many domain registrars like Network Solutions have started using this option abusively acquiring domain names which are being searched in their domain search box.
Almost 80% – 95% of all domains registered with major domain registrars are being cancelled during this Grace Period.
This practice is being carried on for the past eight years with IAregistry and DotRegistrar registering many domain names and deleting them when they don’t need it. When they found this practice to be profitable, they started using various methods and technologies to find out the top domains searched for and all possible name options helping them figure out the best profitable domain names. They later started acquiring these domain names and then deleted them before the grace period was over if they found it not to be profitable.
Critics feel there is no actual need for this practice. ICANN should request the registrar to pay for any domain purchased and there should not be any refund or grace period. In January 2008, ICANN mentioned that they would withdraw this AGP offer.
However, VeriSign has been against this Domain Tasting from the early 2001 and has been preventing registrars use this method abusively.