There was quite a bit of controversy surrounding the last auction which seems to have left a bad taste in some people’s mouths.
The next auction was originally scheduled to take place on January 23rd, but has now been postponed.
According to a post yesterday on the company’s blog:
our goal has been to identify a way forward that is fairest to all and that best facilitates the development of high-quality content for mobile web users. After further review, we have been able to identify some cases where it may be possible to allocate registration tokens without an auction (and without substantial controversy). The remaining names will be included in a new auction.
The revenue from the auction of premium domains is used by the company to fund the promotion of the namespace to users, including the development of tools for web developers.