The fiercely competed new gTLD .app has sold to Google for a record-breaking $25 million.
The company’s Charleston Road Registry subsidiary beat out 12 other applicants for the string, including Donuts, Amazon, Famous Four Media, Radix and Afilias.
The auction lasted two days and fetched a winning bid of $25,001,000, more than any other new gTLD to date.
The previous high is believed to be .blog, which I estimate sold for less than $20 million.
Because it was an ICANN-run “last resort” auction, all of the money goes into ICANN’s special auction proceeds fund, which previously stood at just shy of $35 million.
Previous ICANN auctions have fetched prices between $600,000 and $6,760,000.
Google originally proposed .app as a closed registry in which only Google and its partners could register names.
However, after the Governmental Advisory Committee pressured ICANN to disallow “closed generics”, Google changed its application to enable anyone to register.
Two more new gTLD contention sets have been settled by auction, one a case of a portfolio applicant prevailing over a closed generic applicant, the other a case of a brand owner paying off a portfolio applicant.
Donuts has won the right to .jewelry over $10 billion-a-year jewelry firm Richemont, owner of brands including Cartier.
Richemont applied for several TLDs, some of which were generic terms. It was awarded .watches uncontested, but apparently didn’t want to fork out as much as Donuts for the matching .jewelry.
Google, meanwhile, won the two-horse race for .moto against Rightside. This one’s interesting because it’s basically a case of Rightside forcing Google to pay up to own one of its own brands.
Google owns a trademark on “Moto” due to its acquisition of Motorola Mobility a few years ago, but Rightside applied for it in its generic sense as an abbreviation of “motorcycle” or “motorbike”.
Google had filed a legal rights objection against its rival for .moto, but lost. Now it’s been forced to cough up at auction instead.
Prices, as usual, have not been disclosed.
Uniregistry’s portfolio of quirky new gTLDs grew today. The company seems to have beaten Google to .lol in a private deal.
The two companies were the only ones to apply for .lol, and Google’s application was formally withdrawn today.
As usual for private contention set settlements, the winning price has not been disclosed.
Uniregistry has 18 delegated gTLDs in its stable, with five more currently uncontested applications (.lol makes six) waiting in the wings.
I like .lol as a gTLD. It’s a punchy, short, meaningful string that certainly belongs to the right of the dot.
I can see it being deployed in the near term by the incessant sewer of BuzzFeed clones that are increasingly stinking up social media, which could give increased visibility and helpful viral marketing.
Longer term, there may be a worry if in future the kidz stop using “lol” and start viewing it as something their parents say, but we’re probably a ways from that yet.
A private auction has been used to settle a new gTLD contention set containing two different strings for the first time.
Afilias has won the right to run .pet after Google withdrew its application for .pet and Donuts withdrew its bid for .pets.
The two strings, one the plural of the other, had been placed into indirect contention by ICANN after a String Confusion Objection panel controversially ruled in August 2013 that .pet and .pets were too confusingly similar to be allowed to coexist.
This means that Donuts has been forced to withdraw an uncontested application.
Notably, it was Google that filed, fought and won the SCO complaint, and it didn’t even wind up with the TLD it wanted.
The final settlement of the contention set reflects ICANN’s inconsistent policy on plurals. Several plural/singular combinations — such as .career(s) and .photo(s) — already coexist in the DNS.
Dish DBS, a US satellite TV company, has beaten Google to the .dot new gTLD in an ICANN auction that fetched just $700,000.
It’s further proof, if any were needed, that you don’t need to have the big bucks to beat Google at auction.
Dish plans to use .dot as a single-registrant space, but unusually it’s not a dot-brand. According to its application, the company:
intends to utilize the .dot gTLD to create a restricted, exclusively-controlled online environment for customers and other business partners with the goal of further securing the collection and transmission of personal and other confidential data required for contracted services and other product-related activities.
Google had planned an open, anything-goes space.
.dot was the only new gTLD contention set to be resolved by ICANN last-resort auction this month. The other applicants scheduled for the November auctions all settled their contests privately.