Will .nokia be the next withdrawal from the new gTLD program?
It seems possible, if reports about the death of the Nokia brand are to be believed.
The news blog Nokia Power User reported yesterday that Nokia the company will be renamed Microsoft Mobile following the close of the $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia by Microsoft this Friday.
The blog, which may live to regret its own choice of brand, quoted from a memo from the company to business partners, reading:
Please note that upon the close of the transaction between Microsoft and Nokia, the name of Nokia Corporation/Nokia Oyj will change to Microsoft Mobile Oy. Microsoft Mobile Oy is the legal entity name that should be used for VAT IDs and for the issuance of invoices.
However, in a blog post confirming the April 25 close date, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith did not mention a rebranding.
The domain name nokia.com will live for up to a year, he said:
While the original deal did not address the management of online assets, our two companies have agreed that Microsoft will manage the nokia.com domain and social media sites for the benefit of both companies and our customers for up to a year.
What does that mean for the .nokia gTLD application?
According to the ICANN web site, Nokia is currently “in contracting” for the dot-brand.
It would not be unprecedented if it were to withdraw its application, however. Back in February 2013, the American insurance company AIG withdrew its bid for .chartis after a rebranding.