U.S. government looks into VeriSign’s marketing practices

Leading domain name registrar VeriSign Inc. confirmed Wednesday that it is being investigated by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) amid accusations that the company has engaged in unfair marketing practices.

The FTC probe comes on the heels of a series of lawsuits filed against the Mountain View, Calif., company by rival registrars claiming that VeriSign tried to snag their customers by sending out deceptive domain name renewal notices. The notices informed customers that their domain names were about to expire and encouraged them to renew the domains with VeriSign, the lawsuits claim. A VeriSign spokesperson said Wednesday that the company was instructed by the FTC not to comment on the request for documents regarding its marketing practices.

No one from the FTC was immediately available to comment on the case.

Whether or not the accusations against VeriSign prove to be true, they could serve to shake confidence in the company, which is already experiencing financial difficulties.

The company is on the Web at http://www.verisign.com.

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