New gTLD portfolio applicants Top Level Domain Holdings and Famous Four Media did in fact make a deal to resolve three contention sets, as suspected.
TLDH has just confirmed that it withdrew its applications for .science and .review in exchange for Famous Four withdrawing its application for .fit.
But the deal also includes a revenue-sharing component — TLDH will get a cut of whatever revenue Famous Four makes selling .review domain names after it goes live.
All three of the gTLDs in question were in two-way contention sets between the two companies, as we reported yesterday.
TLDH gave the following update:
TLDH now has interests in 23 uncontested applications, including 15 wholly/majority owned applications, 6 where it is acting as the registry service provider for client applications, 1 equal joint venture, and 1 where it will receive a minority revenue share. Of the remaining 63 applications which TLDH either wholly-owns, is a joint-venture partner, or is acting as the registry service provider, 7 are in contention with a single other applicant, 17 with two other applicants and 39 are in contention with three or more applicants.
While the dollar amounts concerned were not disclosed, I can’t help but feel TLDH got a good deal with .review.
For the cost of an ICANN application fee*, much of which was recouped in refunds, it seems to be getting an ongoing revenue stream with no ongoing costs and little future risk.
* Of course, in TLDH’s case it has also been burning cash for the best part of five years waiting for new gTLDs to come to life, but you get the point.