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.blog won in eight-figure auction by Primer Nivel

Kevin Murphy, February 16, 2015, 08:22:52 (UTC), Domain Registries

A Colombian registrar has become the unlikely owner of the coveted .blog new gTLD, beating eight other applicants to the string at auction.

Winning bidder Primer Nivel is a Panamanian company affiliated with Bogota-based CCI REG, which runs my.co.

The company was the first to reveal its plans to apply for .blog, telling DI back in April 2012 about its ambitions of the gTLD.

Rival bidders Radix, Minds + Machines, Donuts, Afilias, Merchant Law Group, BET, Google and Top Level Design all withdrew their applications over the weekend.

We’re certainly looking at an eight-figure sale here.

Kieren McCarthy, writing at The Register, reckons it went for $30 million or more, based on the fact that M+M got $3.4 million for withdrawing from .blog and .store auctions, but his back-of-the-envelope calculations are off-target for a few reasons.

Knowledgeable DI sources say the sale price was considerably lower than $30 million.

My envelope puts it at somewhere in the range of $15 million to $18 million.

I’ve always said .blog is among my favorite new gTLD strings. The market opportunity is potentially huge, with hundreds of millions of blogs live on the web today.

Primer Nivel, which to the best of my knowledge is not (unlike some other applicants) affiliated with a particular blogging platform, plans to operate .blog as an open gTLD.

The separate auction for .store, meanwhile, was won by Radix, after withdrawals from M+M, Donuts, Amazon, Google, Dot Store and Uniregistry this weekend.

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Comments (12)

  1. Jim says:

    It’s not really “back of fag packets calcs” quite simple really. 3.4 mm +(mmx payment for dds)x 14 gives total for blog and store.
    The variables being what DDS went for and the split between store and blog.
    Feasible that blog went for more than $30mm.

    Jim

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      I’m told it went for a lot less than $30 million.

      Ignore .store for a second and pretend M+M got its $3.4m for withdrawing just .blog. With seven other losing applicants each getting the same payoff, the maximum sale price would be $27.2m.

      But the $3.4m was for .store and .blog combined, so the .blog price must be much lower.

  2. Phil Buckingham says:

    Jim’s right. Assuming gross MM $5.4 , $30M Blog , $11.4 Store combination works. Also Blog $16M , Store $20.4. Irrespective the real question is whether Primer has paid too much. Clearly Donuts, Google … think so .
    So what price .app due for ICANN auction 25/2/15 ( $30M – $50M ?) but shows active status ?? https://gtldresult.icann.org/applicationstatus/stringcontentionstatus. Lets hope that ICANN dont get their hands on the money or it comes straight back

  3. Dan Rodgers says:

    .BLOG is one I’ve been looking forward to getting decided.

    It’s only of the few new gTLDs which I think actually has a market size comparable to some of the not-quite-legacy-but-still-pre-2013 TLDs like .Mobi/.biz/.xxx/.info

    Hopefully it won’t be overpriced to recoup the auction cost!

  4. I don’t quite see this one as _that_ popular. I think the timing is off.

    Who still uses the term “blog” nowadays?

    While many new websites run on WordPress (a blogging software) as a CMS, the term seems to be less popular. But I hope/guess the buyer did their research 🙂

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