.CLUB Domains LLC says it has secured funding for its .club generic top-level domain application, and says it is ready to go to an ICANN auction if necessary.
CEO Colin Campbell, a Tucows co-founder, blogged today that the funding deal comes along with “contingent financing… to ensure the company wins the top level domain in an auction.”
Apparently a few other companies have privately revealed that they are also applying for .club, but .CLUB Domains claims that it has no intention of negotiating with them. Campbell wrote:
Unfortunately ICANN’s process has encouraged some speculators to apply for the gTLD with no intention of actually running the top level domain but simply negotiating with legitimate operators. We have been approached by a number of companies who are applying for .Club. Our belief is that is best not to negotiate with these companies or individuals but win the name through an open and fair auction process.
This is a prime example of why revealing new gTLD plans before April 12 may not be the best business strategy — they invite competition from insiders who want a piece of your action.
Whether .CLUB Domains’s hard-line stance on competing applications will help reduce the field for .club — or whether rivals will try to call its bluff — remains to be seen.