Over 70,000 .eu domain names have been suspended by the European domain name authority after the launch of legal action against a group of 400 registrars for “abusive behaviour”.

EURid said the move had been prompted by “abusive behaviour” by a syndicate of registrars who had stockpiled domain names with the obvious intent of selling them on – a practice known as ‘warehousing’.

The domains in question were all registered for three UK-based limited companies, Fausto, Ovidio and Gabino. Between them, the three companies registered 74,000 names.

“Since registrars should only register domain names for existing customers and not ‘warehouse’ the names in order to resell them at a higher price, this is clearly in breach of the registrar contract,” said Herman Sobrie of EURid in a statement.

EURid said the domain names had been put on hold and that it hoped to make them available for registration again by the end of the year.

The organisation announced recently that it had sold its 2 millionth .eu domain in just three months.

However, it said that abuse of the registration system could lead to a “risk that the perceived value of dot-eu will decrease, not only for the almost two million legitimate holders of dot-eu domain names but also for all fair registrars”.