Donuts has confirmed that it paid Tucows for the rights to the .media and .marketing new gTLDs, but says it was actually “just another type of private auction”.
The existence of a deal for the two strings emerged in a tongue-in-cheek Tucows video on Friday.
I blogged over the weekend that it was the first example I was aware of of Donuts settling a contention set outside of the private auction process it helped kick-start with Innovative Auctions.
But in a statement sent to DI today, Donuts characterized the Tucows deal as auction-like, saying:
Contention was resolved privately between the two applicants by a “cut and choose” method, whereby Tucows named a price at which it would withdraw its applications, and Donuts would decide either to “buy” or “sell” the position as sole remaining applicant.
Donuts elected to pay Tucows its stated price, and Donuts will continue as the sole applicant and exclusive operator for both TLDs, with no joint venture or revenue sharing agreement with any party.
Donuts remains strongly committed to private auctions as the preferred method of resolving contention for its applications and this was just another type of private auction.