Latest news of the domain name industry

Recent Posts

.org back-end deal will come up for re-bid, PIR says as it acquires four new gTLDs

Kevin Murphy, December 8, 2021, Domain Registries

The industry’s most lucrative back-end registry services contract will be rebid, Public Interest Registry said today.

The deal, which sees PIR pay Afilias $18.3 million a year to run .org, according to tax records, will see a request for proposals issued in the back half of 2023, according to PIR.

Given that’s two years away, it’s strange timing for the announcement, which came at the bottom of a press release and blog post announcing that the company is acquiring four new gTLDs, three of which belong to Afilias’ new owner, Donuts.

PIR said Donuts is to transfer control of .charity, .foundation and .gives, which will be “reintroduced” to the market. .foundation currently has about 20,000 registered domains; the other two have a few thousand each.

It’s also acquiring the unlaunched gTLD .giving from a company called Giving Ltd.

All four are on-message for PIR’s not-for-profit portfolio, which also includes the barely-used .ngo and .ong for non-governmental organizations.

Those two gTLDs are getting decoupled, allowing registrants to register one without having to buy the other, PIR also said today.

The last time the PIR back-end contract came up for renewal, in 2015, Afilias was also the incumbent but increased competition — it was up against 20 rivals — meant that its slice of .org revenue was cut in half.

After long fight, Donuts adds .charity to its gTLD stable

Kevin Murphy, March 13, 2018, Domain Registries

Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, Donuts has prevailed in the two-horse race for the .charity gTLD.
The company appears to have privately resolved its contention set, paying off rival bidder Famous Four Media, judging by updates to ICANN’s web site today.
The gTLD had been scheduled for an ICANN “last resort” auction in April, but that’s now off.
Famous Four has also withdrawn its application, leaving Donuts the only remaining applicant.
I believe it will be Donuts’ 239th 240th gTLD.
But for a while it looked like Famous Four had a slam-dunk on its hands.
Back in 2014, the Independent Objector of the new gTLD program had filed an Community Objection against Donuts’ application, saying it was too risky to unleash a .charity domain onto the world without registration eligibility restrictions.
The fear was (and probably still is) that fraudsters could use the domains to lend an air of credibility to their online scams.
The IO prevailed, pretty much gifting Famous Four — which had proposed restrictions — the TLD.
But Donuts embarked upon an arduous set of appeals, including an Independent Review Process case, that culminated, last December, in a ruling (pdf) that reversed the original Community Objection decision.
That cleared the way for Donuts back into the application process and, now, the private auction it seems to have won.
Due to ICANN’s adoption of Governmental Advisory Committee advice on sensitive strings, Donuts will be obliged to put some Public Interest Commitments into its .charity contract, with the aim of reducing abuse.

Amazon and Google hit as Independent Objector files 24 new gTLD objections

Kevin Murphy, March 13, 2013, Domain Registries

Alain Pellet, the new gTLD program’s Independent Objector, has filed 24 official objections against new gTLD applications.
Five of its 13 Community Objections are against dot-brands that have geographical meanings — Amazon’s .amazon and three translations, an outdoor clothing maker’s bid for .patagonia and a Mumbai cricket team’s application for .indians.
Other recipients are the two applications for .charity and the one for the Chinese translation .慈善.
Every other objection is related in some way to health.
The remaining six Community Objections target .med, .health, .healthcare and .hospital bids.
Limited Public Interest Objections have also been filed against the four .health applications, .healthcare, the four .med bids and the one .hospital.
That’s right, the .hospital and .healthcare applications, both filed by Donuts subsidiaries, have been hit twice.
Donuts is not the only one: Google’s .med bid has a Community Objection and a Limited Public Interest objection too.
The reasons for the objections do not appear to have been published yet.
The objections stand to delay each of the target apps by about five months, according to ICANN’s timetable.
The full list of IO objections can be found here.