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Gaming scandal hits Russian domain launch

Kevin Murphy, November 24, 2010, 14:01:09 (UTC), Domain Registries

The launch of Russia’s .РФ country-code top-level domain, widely lauded as a runaway success story, has been tainted by a registrar gaming scandal.

Government antitrust authorities are investigating six registrars over claims that they registered tens of thousands of premium domains in order to auction them to end users, according to local reports.

The registrars in question are thought to have colluded, using each others’ services to register the names, hence the competition probe.

The largest registrar, Regional Network Information Center, aka RU-Center, is alleged to have registered 65,000 domains during the first days of the .РФ launch in order to profit from auctions.

These domains have been frozen pending resolution of the dispute. The registry, Coordination Center for TLD, is thinking about cancelling the registrars’ accreditations.

RU-Center is quoted as saying, laughably, that the premium domains were registered in order to prevent cybersquatting.

In a statement, the registry questions the public good of registering проститутки.рф, which apparently means “prostitute.rf” and is currently asking $190,000 at auction.

The investigation certainly takes the gloss off the launch, which has so far racked up well over 500,000 registered domains and was put forth as case study for internationalized domain names.

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Comments (15)

  1. S. says:

    This will improve the value of Russian idn.com. imo. The more they screw up the Russian registry, the more stable/valuable the equivalent idn.com becomes……..

  2. Acro says:

    Apparently 499,999 domains were registered by the registrars and prostitute.rf was the other one 😀

  3. Nic says:

    VERY interesting. Thank you! Perhaps hope for my missed .рф yet.

  4. MS says:

    проститутки – Prostitutes

    A couple other prices from the auction

    Hotels 1.5 Million usd
    Games 250k usd

    Apartments is showing 10 Million…

  5. TTT says:

    Our auctions:

    транспорт.рф – transport.rf
    15.500 USD

    выбор.рф – choise.rf
    12.500 USD

    бетон.рф – concrete.rf
    10 Million USD!

  6. mr.pu says:

    .RU domains forever, go go go! 🙂
    shitted .РФ (.RF) will be stunned for long time and not liked by webmasters and world wide communications.
    just toy-zone.

  7. Sceptical says:

    Whats wrong with prostitution? The prostitution business is a large part of the GDP of Russia.

  8. […] it was announced earlier today that the much proclaimed Russian IDN TLD registration for .рф was marred by a cheating scandal whereupon tens of thousands of domains were registered by the Registrars and not by […]

  9. […] it was announced earlier today that the much proclaimed Russian IDN TLD registration for .рф was marred by a cheating scandal whereupon tens of thousands of domains were registered by the Registrars and not by […]

  10. […] .РФ was launched by the .ru registry launched last November, it offered domain names on a first-come first-served […]

  11. […] .РФ was launched by the .ru registry launched last November, it offered domain names on a first-come first-served […]

  12. […] registrations by June 30, according to the registry’s first-half 2011 report, following its scandal-tinged launch eight months […]

  13. […] registrations by June 30, according to the registry’s first-half 2011 report, following its scandal-tinged launch eight months […]

  14. […] registrations by June 30, according to the registry’s first-half 2011 report, following its scandal-tinged launch eight months […]

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