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Second premium .info auction goes live on Go Daddy

Kevin Murphy, January 8, 2013, Domain Registries

Go Daddy and Afilias are auctioning off a second batch of premium dictionary-word .info domain names.

The registrar has just gone live with a list of 138 domains, including stuff like home.info, autos.info, boat.info, fashion.info and computer.info.

The domains were all claimed in Afilias’ .info sunrise period back in 2001 but were subsequently found to be ineligible under the sunrise rules and reclaimed by the registry.

Bidding starts on January 15, with starting bids at about $100.

A first batch of domains from the same pool were auctioned in December, with some fetching five-figure sums — cancer.info led, selling for $16,005, with loans.info going for $12,205.

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Baseball league buys Rockies.com for $1.2m

Kevin Murphy, January 8, 2013, Domain Sales

Major League Baseball has purchased the domain name rockies.com for $1.2 million, according to the deal’s broker, Venture Capital Group Ltd.

The domain did belong to Tourism Canadian Rockies, which plans to move to CanadianRockies.org, according to the company. The Colorado Rockies is a baseball team in the MLB.

Domain Name Wire reported that the domain was up for sale last September, with Andrew Allemann predicting a sale to the MLB at price of $200,000 to $400,000.

According to Allemann, the MLB now only needs four .com domains to complete its collection of team names.

Rockies.com now redirects to mlb.com.

January 11 Update: The sale price of $1.2 million is now looking very dubious indeed.

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Registrars sought as Pool.com shuts down drop-catching business

Kevin Murphy, January 7, 2013, Domain Registrars

ICANN is looking for new homes for approximately 67,000 domain names, after a decision by Momentous to dump 85 of its domain name registrar accreditations.

The accreditations were used primarily for drop-catching, according to an email sent to registrars last Friday, and each has between 200 and 3,000 gTLD domains under management.

While most affected domains are recently caught drops, there may be some regular registrants scattered throughout the customer base, according to ICANN.

Momentous, owner of Pool.com, announced that it was getting rid of its drop-catching registrars in an email to customers late last year, as several domainer blogs reported at the time.

Pool plans to “refocus its business away from an emphasis on the secondary market”, the email said.

The company wanted to consolidate all of the domains in its NameScout registrar with the transfer fees waived, but ICANN declined its request, according to the email.

Some customers are not happy with how Pool has handled the situation.

The domainer “Acro” is currently pursuing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau in Momentous’ native Canada, according to a recent blog post.

The 85 accreditations are due to expire January 10. Registrars wishing to take over the portfolios had a deadline of this afternoon to express an interest with ICANN.

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Name.com “will carry as many TLDs as possible”

Kevin Murphy, January 7, 2013, Domain Registrars

Demand Media executive vice president Taryn Naidu said newly acquired registrar Name.com plans to carry as many TLDs as possible, but urged new gTLD applicants to start distribution talks with registrars as soon as possible.

“It’s going to be challenging to offer all of them,” Naidu told DI today. “We’re asking registries to come talk to Name.com early and often to make sure they get the shelf space.”

“They have to come with a plan, and make sure they’re ready to go to market,” he said.

Demand Media announced the acquisition of Name.com earlier today. The deal, for an undisclosed amount, will see the 30-strong Denver, Colorado-based company join number two registrar eNom in the Demand stable.

Name.com is almost 10 years old and has almost 1.5 million domains under management, the majority of them in gTLDs. eNom has over 12 million domains spread across scores of registrar accreditations.

Naidu said that the forthcoming new gTLD market was a major reason for the deal.

While eNom is primarily a channel player, Name.com is all about the customer-facing retail side of the registrar business.

Owning Name.com could give Demand Media a faster way to market the dozens of new gTLDs that it has itself applied for, as well as the 300 it has partnered with uber-applicant Donuts on.

Naidu declined to comment on details of the Donuts relationship, but I’d be quite surprised if a commitment to carry its TLDs is not part of the deal.

He also said he’s not too worried about alienating eNom’s existing reseller channel, pointing out that main retail rivals such as Go Daddy and Tucows also have extensive reseller networks.

“In many regards having access to a retail player like this will help us serve our resellers by better understanding their needs,” he said.

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Squatter promises to hand over footballer’s domain “if I can slap you in the face”

Kevin Murphy, January 5, 2013, Gossip

Funniest cybersquat ever?

A French squatter has nabbed zlatan.fr and promised to gift it to Sweden and Paris Saint-Germain footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic if he completes any of a series of bizarre challenges.

Among the many demands the anonymous squatter makes of Ibrahimovic is: “let me slap you in the face, without saying a word… and in public”.

He also requests a lock of the player’s hair, a bare-chested photograph for his girlfriend, and trial by FIFA 13.

If none of that catches Ibrahimovic’s fancy, the squatter said he will hand over the domain if the player simply asks him for it, in person and in French.

The domain was registered in December, not too long after Ibrahimovic made headlines for scoring what many described as the “best goal ever” in a friendly game against England.

Funnily enough, one of the challenges the squatter sets for Ibrahimovic is: “score a more-than-30-meter-backflip-goal in an official game. Just kidding… this is not realistic.”

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