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Uniregistry not happy about Donuts-Tucows deal

Kevin Murphy, August 5, 2013, 23:08:47 (UTC), Domain Registries

Uniregistry would never have withdrawn its applications for .media and .marketing if it had known that Tucows would later take money from Donuts to also withdraw, according to CEO Frank Schilling.

Schilling told DI tonight that Uniregistry had pulled out of both new gTLD contention sets after having made a deal with Tucows, the details of which he was unable to explain due to a non-disclosure agreement.

But he said that the deal would never have happened if he’d known the eventual outcome.

“Tucows left us under the impression that they were going to win this and had I known that they would fold in a subsequent private auction I would not have done this,” he said.

Tucows withdrew its bids for .media and .marketing weeks after Uniregistry, after making its own deal with Donuts, which is now the sole remaining applicant for the two strings.

As reported earlier today, Tucows and Donuts settled the two contention sets with a “cut and choose” arrangement, where Tucows named the price at which it was willing to withdraw and Donuts could choose to buy its withdrawals or sell its own withdrawals for the same price.

Donuts characterized the deal as a kind of private auction.

Uniregistry is on record as saying it doesn’t like the idea of private auctions, which it believes may fall foul of US antitrust law.

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Comments (5)

  1. I don’t know the deal that was done here. But I can say I have known Elliot for over 15 years. He was my employee, my supplier, my customer, and my competitor.

    He is a man of intergrity. And would never place money over his beliefs or others in the industry.

    I also take issue with Franks position here. As the first private auction participant for .CLUB, I had my lawyers review the DOJ issue and they came up with a different position than him. Everyone should review this issue on their own and make their own determination. As we did.

    Colin Campbell, CEO, .CLUB Domains, LLC

  2. Ron says:

    These side deals are foul, and corrupt, and both these bidders need to be disqualified, really sick stuff people. No integrity in this business, Frank, and his team are a class act.

    • I have to agree with you on Frank Schilling. He is a class act. I like John Berryhill as well even though he does find great joy giving me a hard time 🙂

      In regards to private auctions, I never did see them in the Applicant Guidebook and not one of its supporters. Isn’t it inconsistent when applicants complain about “changes” in the Guidebook then decide to circumvent the Applicant Guidebook’s auction methodology in favor of their own “private” auction methodology that makes them – not ICANN – richer? If private auctions were part of the Applicant Guidebook then I would have a different opinion but they are not. Of course this new gTLD program has unfortunately many loopholes to maximize ROI for many applicants.

      In terms of Elliot, I really like him a lot as well and he has shown to be a class act as well. One of the nicest guys I have met from the ICANN space. Not sure what to think but I am sure both Frank and Elliot will figure it out somehow.

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