Three more new gTLD applications were withdrawn today, only one of which was related to this week’s previously reported batch of private auctions.
First, Famous Four Media has pulled out of the .gift race with Uniregistry, presumably after some kind of deal. They were the only two applicants, meaning Uniregistry wins the contention set.
Potentially complicating matters, there are also two applicants for .gifts — if the plural/singular debate is reopened, which seems possible after today’s events, it might not be over yet.
Second, AOL withdrew its application for .patch, which was to be a single-registrant space for its Patch-branded network of local web sites.
This seems to be connected to cost-cutting at AOL.
Last week, the company fired Patch’s creative director in front of 1,000 colleagues and announced it was cutting the number of sites in the network.
Today, it started laying off almost half of Patch’s 1,100 employees, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Third, Top Level Domain Holdings withdrew from the .guide contention set, leaving Donuts the winner — a formality following this week’s Innovative Auctions auction, which it lost.