DotConnectAfrica and GCCIX WLL have become the first new gTLD applicants to have their applications — for .africa and .gcc respectively — officially flagged as “Not Approved” by ICANN.
Both were killed by Governmental Advisory Committee advice.
While GCC had passed its Initial Evaluation already, DCA’s IE results report (pdf), which were published last night, simply states: “Overall Initial Evaluation Summary: Incomplete”.
In both cases the decision to flunk the applications was taken a month ago by ICANN’s New gTLD Program Committee.
DCA filed a formal Reconsideration Request (pdf), challenging the decision in typically incomprehensible style, on June 19, threatening to take ICANN to an Independent Review Panel (ICANN’s very expensive court of appeals) if it does not overturn its decision.
Here’s a sample:
We have no intention of withdrawing our application against the backdrop that we rightly believe that the Board decision is injudicious, very wrong and injurious to our application and to our organizational aspirations. We are placing faith in the possibility that this particular communication will serve the purpose of causing the ICANN Board to have a rethink, and see the wisdom in allowing DCA Trust to continue to participate in the new gTLD Program without the necessity of going to an Independent Review Process (IRP) Panel to challenge the ICANN Board Decision which we presently disagree with in the most absolute terms.
The Board Governance Committee, which handles Reconsideration Requests, has a sturdy track record of denying them, so I think the chances of DCA’s being approved are roughly zero.
But if the company is nutty enough to try its hand at an IRP, which could quite easily set it back a few million dollars in legal fees, the story might not be over yet.
The GAC didn’t like DCA’s .africa bid because African governments back UniForum, DCA’s South Africa-based competitor for the string.
Had the application made it to Initial Evaluation — its processing number wasn’t up for a few weeks — it would have been flunked by the Geographic Names Panel due to its lack of support anyway.
GCC’s application for .gcc was also rejected by the GAC on geographic grounds. It stands for Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Persian/Arabian Gulf nations in question didn’t support the bid.
Also today, the American insurance company Allstate withdrew its applications for .carinsurance and .autoinsurance. Both were single-registrant “closed generics”, which ICANN has indicated might not be approved, also due to GAC advice.