Chicago (March 8, 2004) -- The Net domain suffix .pro, the domain geared toward accountants, lawyers, doctors and other service professionals, has changed ownership.

Registry Services Corp., a subsidiary of Chicago-based Web-hosting and managed services company Hostway Corp., has taken over as registry operator for the .pro domain from RegistryPro.

The deal is subject to approval by the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Registry Services Corp. intends to launch .pro by this summer, and will honor existing .pro sunrise registrations. The .pro extension, which is available exclusively for professionals, has three basic components: a domain name, cross-verification of professional and identity information, and a digital certificate.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"The .pro registry is an exciting opportunity but is not core to our businesses," said Peter Forman, president and chief executive of Register.com. "This sale allows us to focus on our registrar business, while retaining the ability to benefit from .pro's success in the future."

-- WebCPA staff

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