Minds + Machines has won governmental approval for its .bayern new gTLD application, according to the company.
The Bavarian state government has said it will back a bid for .bayern from Bayern Connect, which is majority-owned by M+M parent Top Level Domain Holdings, TLDH said today.
According to its press release, M+M will provide the back-end registry services, which strongly suggests that it does not plan to outsource to Neustar on this occasion.
Bayern Connect is not the only company to have announced a .bayern application, however.
Rival applicant PunktBayern, which is backed by United Domains and InterNetX among others, has been public about its plans for a couple of years too. Last year, it selected Afilias to provide its registry back-end.
If the Bavarian government is offering its exclusive support to Bayern Connect, as TLDH now says, it puts a serious question mark over the viability of the PunktBayern bid.
Under ICANN’s rules, any gTLD purporting to represent a state must secure the support or non-objection of the relevant government. Without that support, applications will be rejected.
PunktBayern does have a registered trademark on “.bayern”, however, so the tussle may not be quite over yet.
Bayern is the German name for Bavaria. The state has a population of about 12.5 million and quite a strong sense of its own identity.
It’s often referred to as the land of “laptops and lederhosen” due to a long-running government policy of friendliness to the tech industry.