### Abstract

Given a point set P in the plane, the Delaunay graph with respect to axis-parallel rectangles is a graph defined on the vertex set P, whose two points p, q is an element of P are connected by an edge if and only if there is a rectangle parallel to the coordinate axes that contains p and q, but no other elements of P. The following question of Even et al. (SIAM J Comput 33 (2003) 94-136) was motivated by a frequency assignment problem in cellular telephone networks: Does there exist a constant c > 0 such that the Delaunay graph of any set of it points in general position in the plane contains an independent set of size at least cn? We answer this question in the negative, by proving that the largest independent set in a randomly and uniformly selected point set in the unit square is O(n log(2) log n/ log n), with probability tending to 1. We also show that our bound is not far from optimal, as the Delaunay graph of a uniform random set of it points almost surely has an independent set of size at least cn log log n/(log n log log log it).