NTIA head Larry Strickling, the U.S. guy in charge, explained the problem to me, "Dave, do you want Russia and China to run the Internet?" The world majority didn't want the U.S. running things. Strickling's plan was to reduce the criticism by handing off to a group that nearly always takes the same position as the U.S.Before I get too many flames, let me say I support the ICANN transition. I titled my writeup Ted Cruz is a bleeping idiot,Unfortunately, both sides treated this like a political campaign. We all know about politicians and truth.
The battle over ICANN was a symbolic fight between the Global North (led by the U.S.) and the Global South (BRICS and more.) The "problem" the ICANN transition is meant to solve is the demand by the majority of countries in the world to have a representative say in decisions about the Internet.
The Global South generally believes the system is rigged to protect things like high transit prices and unreasonable patent royalties. Many of their issues are on target, although ICANN itself has almost nothing to do with them. Despite the irrelevance, both sides choose ICANN and the ITU as the battleground.