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Multiple live gTLDs will be auctioned in October

Kevin Murphy, September 23, 2014, 16:31:13 (UTC), Domain Registries

Exactly 11 months after the first new gTLDs were delegated to the DNS root, DI has learned that a batch of live gTLDs are heading to auction for the first time.

There’s now officially an aftermarket for top-level domains.

“Multiple” delegated 2012-round new gTLDs will be auctioned off next month, with the exact date yet to be finalized, according to a reliable source.

The venue will be Applicant Auction, which has been helping applicants resolve gTLD contention sets via private auction for the last year.

The auction is understood to be invitation-only and the identities of the gTLDs up for grabs, and their associated registries, are a closely-guarded secret.

What conclusions we can come to will rather depend on which gTLDs are being sold.

If they’re gTLDs that are already in general availability, and perhaps have suffered worse-than-expected sales, it probably wouldn’t look very good for the new gTLD program.

But if they’re pre-launch strings belonging to portfolio applicants that have always looked like obvious investment vehicles, the optics might not be as damaging.

We’ll have to wait and see. If the auctions are successful, at some point over the next couple of months we can expect to see one or more new gTLDs change hands.

It won’t be the first time a gTLD has been bought — successful applicants from earlier rounds have been acquired by larger competitors — but it will be the first time a delegated new gTLD has been auctioned off when it’s still basically an unproven asset rather than a full-blown business.

It could be the first example of “domaining” with TLDs.

In this round, NCC Group bought .trust — an uncontested application with no ICANN contract — from Deutshe Post in February, while Rightside has acquired some TLDs from Donuts under a pre-existing deal.

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Comments (4)

  1. Great. So it shows, yet again, that this is all about the greed and theft.

    While big-pocket companies like Google simply walk in and steal .Web from the company that had been working within the system to expand new TLDs for over 20 years, we now see that they’re just investments for some and windfalls for ICANN and other insiders.

    Corruption much?

    I remain disgusted at the waste of two decades of my life.

  2. Joe Zane says:

    Christopher – What do you mean about Google stealing .web? I see that Google is in contention with 9 other parties on .web/.webs and thus far Google seems to have only lost in auctions, doesn’t seem like they are …

    • Joe Zane says:

      oops. Doesn’t seem like they are stealing anything, rather they seem to be playing it dumb by participating in ICANN auctions

  3. Joe, Image Online Design proposed .Web in 1994 and was told by IANA to move forward. That was stopped when the ICANN process happened and in 2000, IOD applied as did Afilias and Neustar. The latter two were given .info and .biz and ICANN chair Vint Cerf specifically said that IOD would have .Web in the next round.

    Instead, ICANN chose to let any company jump the line, inject themselves into the process, and simply outbid the small but pioneering company that arguably started the whole new TLD movement, after making clear promises and representations.

    Where I come from, we call that theft.

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