Alert Worldwide Government of cPanel recent Abuse of Dominance Antitrust

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cPanel recently announced a new pricing model that includes an account based component.  (https://blog.cpanel.com/announcing-account-based-pricing/) This change has proven to dramatically increase some client's monthly fees by over 2000% or more.  While cPanel has the right per their agreements to change pricing at any time, this move is an abuse of dominance in the hosting community. 

It has been estimated of all servers running some type of web hosting control panel, cPanel is installed on roughly 70% of those servers.  We are working to determine a more accurate estimate, but dominance is generally accepted as 40% or more.

Under cPanel's old pricing model, they offered unlimited accounts for $45 a month on bare metal dedicated server and $20 on a cloud based (vps) server.

Here are some examples of some of the dramatic price increases.

Type  |  Number of Accounts  |  Old Price  |  New Price  |  % Increase

VPS   |      100 Accounts         |      $20       |        $45      |        225%

VPS   |       200 Accounts        |      $20       |        $65      |        325%

DED  |       500 Accounts         |     $45        |        $125    |        278%

DED    |     800 Accounts         |     $45        |        $185    |        411%

DED    |     1000 Accounts       |     $45        |        $225    |        500%

DED    |      2000 Accounts      |     $45        |        $425    |        944%

DED    |       5000 Accounts     |      $45       |        $1025  |        2278%

There are cases where people have more then 5000 accounts on a server, but these are extreme and that number can be determined on a case by case basis.  But the above values give a good representation of how dramatic of a increase this is for most clients of cPanel.

While there is competition out there, here are some of the reasons some people can not just immediately switch.

  • They do not have full root access to their server or hosting solution and this requires paying additional fees to their hosting provider to make any changes for them.  While this number is very small, it is a case that needs to be mentioned.
  • There is no proper solution to an in-place transation away from cPanel to another control panel.  This means to do properly an ensure everything works:
    • Need to ensure backup are complete
    • Do a complete reload the server with a new operating system,
    • Install a new control panel.
    • Migrate data to new control panel, either manually or use new control panel's migration tools.

This causes dramatic downtime of the server and the websites on it, that could results in millions of dollars in lost revenue from online stores, advertisements, and lost emails.  The average migration time of a single account can range from under 5 minutes to well over an hour depending on the size and complexity of the account.  When you multiple this times even 100 accounts, it could result in to days before the new control panel is back to 100% capacity.   Also while the migration tools attempt to migrate all data and resources, they often miss small things, which then to do a complete job, you need manually migrate the remaining items.

  • The other option is to use a new server and migrate from the older server. This has its own problems
    • Has the added expense of having two servers operating at the same time.  Most hosting providers will not provide a second for free and either require you to purchase an identical server or even often an upgrade as the existing server configuration being used is no longer available
    • Websites and Emails downtime can often be mitigated to almost zero, there is still the possibility of lost of business during the transfer
    • The extra load of transferring files from one server to another can often slow the existing server down, causing performance issues for websites that have not yet been migrated.
    • Depending on the DNS solution used, can often take up to 24 hours for the website to propagate to the new server across the internet. This could result in lost orders and sales.  There are steps to mitigate this, but not always available.

There are other small things involve when transitioning from one control panel to another, but these state the biggest and highest reason for lost revenue.  

We need to reach out to our federal governments worldwide as cPanel sells licenses in all countries.  If they do not want comply with laws of a country, then they need to immediately block sales to that country.

Here is a list of links to each country's Antitrust department.  Please sign the petition to indicate you have personally reached out to your country's department to give cPanel an indication of the severity of their actions. 

https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-sites-worldwide