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Donuts buys back .fan, ignores plural .fans

Kevin Murphy, June 18, 2018, 20:19:11 (UTC), Domain Registries

Donuts has purchased the unlaunched new gTLD .fan from its struggling owner, just three years after selling it.
The company said today that .fan will become its 241st TLD in its portfolio, having inked a deal with Asiamix Digital.
Asiamix also runs the plural .fans, which Donuts has not acquired.
A Donuts spokesperson said the singular variant was the only acquisition considered, but did not say why.
The gTLD has a colorful ownership history, given that it has not even launched yet.
It was originally owned by Donuts, which won it unopposed in the 2012 application round.
The company then transferred it to then-independent Rightside under a deal the two companies had covering about 100 applications.
Rightside then in 2015 briskly sold the contract to Asiamix, which already had the rights to the plural .fans and presumably wanted to reduce market confusion.
For whatever reason, Asiamix sat on .fan and never even announced launch plans.
Rightside was then acquired by Donuts last year.
Donuts’ spokesperson declined to disclose whether the latest re-acquisition was for the same, more, or less than the original 2015 transaction.
Asiamix is currently very likely facing the death of its business, having failed to make a go of .fans.
The plural has never had more than about 1,500 names in its zone file.
Donuts plans to launch .fan in short order, with general availability expected in mid-September. We should be looking at a sunrise period fairly soon.

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Comments (1)

  1. Snoopy says:

    Given new tld volumes are about 10% of what Icann predicted I’d think there is a lot more consolidation to follow as a big % of registries become “distressed”.

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