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.