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dotBerlin hires Nic.at

Austrian registry Nic.at has signed its second city top-level domain partner in the form of dotBerlin, the company that has been planning a .berlin bid for several years.

The news follows its deal with dotHamburg, announced last week.

Nic.at, which now manages over 1 million .at domains, is the largest German-speaking registry that is also offering back-end registry services to new gTLD applicants.

This, I’m told, makes it particularly reassuring to German local government, which get proven scale and a local(ish) partner which speaks the same lingo.

There’s another .berlin applicant, UniteBerlin, which is backed by Minds + Machines and, following its recent partnership announcement, Neustar.

The support of Berlin’s local authority will decide the winner.

Nic.at strikes .hamburg deal

Hamburg Top-Level-Domain GmbH, a potential bidder for the .hamburg top-level domain, has headed across the border into Austria for its registry services provider.

The company has signed up to use Nic.at, currently the registry for the .at country-code TLD, according to a press release.

The initiative appears to be looking for money at the moment.

dotHamburg’s chief executive Oliver Süme said: “The knowledge that the technical side of things is in safe hands is an important criteria for potential investors looking to invest in .hamburg.”

The company will also need to secure the support of Hamburg’s local government, given the recent changes to ICANN’s Applicant Guidebook.