ICANN posted its proposal for expanding gTLDs
late in October, and now the US government has issued its scathing response
(PDF, 11 pp., linked from there), from the departments of Commerce and Justice. The initial criticism is that John Levine sent a note to a policy mailing list and summarized the concerns raised
as ranging from "...insufficient attention to monopoly and consumer protection, to lack of capacity to enforce compliance, to overreach into non-technical areas such as adjudication of morality, to what they'll do with all the extra money since they are a non-profit. Their first concern is that in 2006 the ICANN board said they would commission a study on economic issues in TLD registrations such as whether different TLDs are different markets, substitutability between TLDs, and registry market power, issues which are fairly important in any new TLD process. Here it is two years later, they're rushing to set up the new TLD process, but there's no study. 'ICANN needs to complete this economic study and the results should be considered by the community before new gTLDs are introduced.'"