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NameJet to auction new gTLD domains before they launch

Kevin Murphy, November 8, 2013, 14:03:20 (UTC), Domain Sales

Many registrars are already offering new gTLD pre-registrations, now NameJet has taken the idea one step further: it’s going to auction premium names months before the gTLDs even go live.
It’s just announced a deal with, which is on track to run the .xyz and .college registries, to sell 40 “premium” domain names this month. In fact, according to its press relase, the first auction started on Wednesday.
These two new gTLDs are uncontested but do not yet have Registry Agreements with ICANN, and have not passed pre-delegation testing or any of the other pre-launch prerequisites.
The companies said they due to go live next year.
Some of the domains to be auctioned include:,,,,,, and
NameJet said it expects the auctions to be wrapped up by the end of February.

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Comments (3)

  1. Jeff Neuman says:

    Kevin – how is the allocation of names prior to the signing of agreements or even going live consistent with the Rights Protection Mechanisms document which requires that no names be allocated prior to the Sunrise Period. Names can be reserved, but cannot be allocated before the Sunrise Period (unless of course you allocate them using the Sunrise rules). Then there is another issue with the RPM document since you are technically not allowed to allocate any Sunrise names prior to delegation, submitting your start-up plan to ICANN for review and getting it approved.
    I am not pre-judging whether this is right or wrong, but I would caution any registry or registrar to make sure that they understand the requirements before engaging in this.
    In addition, what are the rules if these names are subject to name collision?

  2. Pinky Brand says:

    I would not be surprised to see other applicants try this. The delay in the past year with the new gTLD program are forcing new ideas to generate money on the books, even though such funds presumably would be held in escrow and at risk.
    I guess the key thing here is the definition of ‘allocated’. I would think a non-delegated TLD would auction off reserved names, but they don’t ‘allocate’ them to the winning option bidder until after Sunrise and after any RPMs are administered. The option buyer would understand they may not ever get the name because of RPMs, name collisions, asteroid collisions, ICANN gets mad and registry never gets delegated, etc.
    I think there are challenges here in that they don’t have an RA, so any buyers would need an appetite for higher risk and can afford to park some cash for awhile and wait it out.
    I’m sure all will be watching with eagle eyes to see what, if any, benchmarks are set for the winning bids on this process.

  3. Me says:

    Paying any cash for any of these names IS an allocation. There has been a legal contract formed. Whether its conditional doesn’t change the basis that it has been allocated.
    I have personal reservations about shill bidding and trying to prime the market ahead of actual delegation.

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