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Google buys .app for over $25 million

Kevin Murphy, February 26, 2015, 17:54:24 (UTC), Domain Registries

The fiercely competed new gTLD .app has sold to Google for a record-breaking $25 million.
The company’s Charleston Road Registry subsidiary beat out 12 other applicants for the string, including Donuts, Amazon, Famous Four Media, Radix and Afilias.
The auction lasted two days and fetched a winning bid of $25,001,000, more than any other new gTLD to date.
The previous high is believed to be .blog, which I estimate sold for less than $20 million.
Because it was an ICANN-run “last resort” auction, all of the money goes into ICANN’s special auction proceeds fund, which previously stood at just shy of $35 million.
Previous ICANN auctions have fetched prices between $600,000 and $6,760,000.
Google originally proposed .app as a closed registry in which only Google and its partners could register names.
However, after the Governmental Advisory Committee pressured ICANN to disallow “closed generics”, Google changed its application to enable anyone to register.

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Comments (11)

  1. Jen says:

    No doubt that Google has major plans for .app.

  2. John Yardley says:

    Well, the Government Advisory Committee may have pressured ICANN to disallow “closed generics” but it does not appear to have stopped Google sitting on “.app”. Nobody in Google appears to know when the tld will be released nor know anyone in Google who might know. I have written to ICANN but no response as yet!

    • Kevin Murphy says:

      To be fair, .app hasn’t been delegated and Google hasn’t even signed the contract yet. It’s still in the ICANN process.

  3. John Yardley says:

    I tried to be fair by contacting various relevant departments within Google to find out the situation. Unfortunately, nobody was able to help. Its not as if .app is of fringe interest. I also wrote to ICANN and got no response. I know Google is a big organisation and all that, but they do promote spread of information and it seemed suspicious that they did not explain the situation to their own staff. Anyway, thank you for your comment.

  4. John Yardley says:

    Google may need time to extract all the domains they might ever find a use for!

  5. John Yardley says:

    Well, we are 7 months on now and still no signs of the “.app” TLD. I guess Google can get away with it because they are Google and paid ICANN a lot of money.

  6. John Yardley says:

    Exactly. As far as I can establish, you can only complain to ICANN on the basis of some breach of registry specification 11: Public Interest Commitments. Surprise, surprise, it is not a public interest commitment to launch a tld within any specified period. So Google can, and probably will, sit on the .app ltd indefinitely. I’d be interested to know which particular public’s interest that might be. It stinks.

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