VeriSign is one step closer to losing a big court case that will affect the future of dot-com domain prices.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has denied VeriSign’s motion for a rehearing of its case with Coalition for ICANN Transparency, which challenged VeriSign’s no-bid contract with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The contract effectively makes VeriSign the default provider of dot-com domains. The coalition, backed by Canadian Internet entrepreneur Rob Hall, seeks to make .com pricing competitive.

A report by Domain Name Wire summarizes the potential effect on the market: “Should VeriSign ultimately lose, it would shake up the domain name registry market and the economics of the business. A competitive tender for the .com registry would certainly result in lower wholesale .com prices, which is currently $7.34.” Right now, it looks like that’s what’s going to happen.

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