Two new gTLD applications have been withdrawn today: Directi’s .play and Starting Dot’s .design.
They’re the second application to be withdrawn by Directi after .movie, which it pulled last month for undisclosed reasons, and the first of Starting Dot’s five bids to die.
Starting Dot said that it has bowed out of the .design fight because there were “simply too many” other applicants in the contention set: eight including itself.
“It is now setting its focus and energy supporting and helping to grow its four other domains, and especially the two which are single applicant, .ARCHI and .BIO,” the company said.
I don’t believe either string was the subject of the private auctions that are happening this week. At least, they weren’t on the lists published by Demand Media or Donuts.
Directi’s .play bid, the first of the four-way contention set to be withdrawn, faces competition from Amazon and Google — both with “closed generic” models — as well as Famous Four Media.
The gTLD deadpool now comprises 71 withdrawals.