Re: The whole operation is shady
Given it is the same small circle of names that keep popping up at each of the company's involved. I wonder whether the price that was originally paid to Afilias contained a significant amount of 'padding'...
I wish I could find a copy of the bid I did some work on. Afilias won, we didn't. From memory though, the non-profit nature was stressed. Challenge was fairly normal for long-term contracts, ie trying to forecast costs over the contract term. From memory, the technical element I did was basically a network of anycast servers with collocation & capacity. I can't remember if there was any revenue sharing clause, or if that's something Afilias offered to win the deal. Benchmarking clauses and sometimes 'open book' accounting can be common in RFPs. It's certainly something I'd expect at renewal time though, ie looking at price movements for things like servers, collo, capacity etc. So I'm not suprised the costs fell.
From the insiders though, I think the concern is as Kieren says, whether this is something the insiders had been developing within their roles at ICANN/ISOC with a view to cashing out big time.
A question has to be when and thus if the ISOC actually see the $1.14bn, wouldn't be surprised if most of it is in the form of IOU's or some other form that allows for future finance shenanigans
On paper, Ethos doesn't have $1.14bn, which is one of those due diligence challenges. It's too new to have filed accounts and looks like it's been created to do this deal. I suspect the offer won't be a lump sum, but then some of the names mentioned could cover that. At Cerf's 'reasonable' $60/yr though, that's $600m/yr with very little in the way of costs making an installment plan possible. Main shenanigan I'd expect is dumping the $1.14 debt into the new entity, probably along with debt from Donut's TLDs. That would take care of tax, but if the company is kept private, we may not see just how profitable the entity is.
The $1.14bn would no doubt be dumped into ISOC's foundation, and used to fund their jollies and outreach activities. If they're all 501(c)(3), there'll be some transparency at least.