If you have a look at the new TLD applications you’ll quickly see that there are quite a few in competition with each other.
ICANN will be sorting out some form of “draw” to see who goes first and there’s also going to be objections, string contention and government “advice”.
But one of the things that’s been made clear for a very long time is that applicants would need to resolve some of the “conflicts” themselves. Either one applicant would outright acquire another or maybe reach some kind of mutually beneficial deal..
Last night came news of a possible “solution” for this.
Right of the Dot, which is headed up by domain name industry veteran Monte Cahn, has partnered with Escrow.com to offer what they’re calling a “Neutral Auction & Mediation Resolution for gTLD String Contention”
Here’s the full release:
Domain Name consultants RightOfTheDot ,LLC, announce today their independent private auction resolution and mediation services for competing gTLD applicants.
Hot on the heels of ICANN’s welcome announcement of the drawing process, Right Of The Dot is launching a private auction and mediation service to accelerate the process of settling claims between applicants for the same new gTLD string, in turn reducing the time it takes for new gTLDs to go live. Right Of The Dot has been granted a special Auction License, which specifically allows them to conduct TLD Auction Services for new gTLDs.
To further support new gTLD applicants in their auction process, ROTD has secured an exclusive partnership with Escrow.com for the escrowing of funds for the deposits and distributions of funds for TLD auctions. With a consistent A+ rating with the BBB, Escrow.com has been voted the Best Domain Escrow Service for the past 5 years; is the only fully licensed online escrow provider in the United States and has processed over $1 Billion dollars in transactions. This unique partnership will enable Right of the Dot to offer applicants many financial options such as interest bearing accounts, so their escrowed funds can earn interest over any given period. “Escrow.com is extremely proud to be working as a partner with Right Of The Dot, “ said Escrow.com President and Managing Director, Brandon Abbey. “We have known the principals for many years and admire their work. ROTD has clearly embraced innovation and we look forward to helping them succeed in this very exciting business venture.”
Right Of The Dot’s combined knowledge, experience and success over their 29 years in the industry, includes conducting tens of thousands of auctions and hundreds of millions of dollars in domain related transactions, both live and online. Utilizing their unique perspective and neutrality, they offer valuable success fee-based mediation and partnership brokering to contentious applicants as a first option in an effort to avoid auction altogether. When auction is the only solution, ROTD offer new gTLD applicants guidance on how to best mitigate risk vs. reward through the auction process.
Right Of The Dot auction fees are competitive, starting at 4% depending on the auction type, number of applicants for a particular extension, and the amount of the winning bid.
The Right Of The Dot auction model would see auction proceeds paid back to the auction participants rather than to ICANN. Resolving contention early will enable losing participants to withdraw their application from the ICANN evaluation process and receive a 70% application fee refund if their auction is held prior to the release of ICANN’s Initial Evaluation and 35% if held after. The auction will be conducted at the time of the applicant’s choice rather than when ICANN decides to hold them.
“A private auction or mediation resolution streamlines the process of winning or losing the TLD. It enables winners to begin planning for the operation of the extension and provides losing bidders closure so they can move on to other TLD opportunities,” says Monte Cahn, President of RightOfTheDot.com.
‘Unlike other auction offerings, ROTD have several auction models we intend to use, depending on the choice of the applicants for a particular extension. We understand that we are dealing with entrepreneurs with a variety of opinions on business models and extension value, unlike a regulated commodity where you would normally see standard industry auction processes. ´ added Cahn.
ROTD will provide 3 main types of gTLD auction (although custom auctions can be arranged if requested):
Second-price sealed-bid auctions: Bidders submit simultaneous sealed bids to the auction house, the highest bidder wins the rights to the TLD and pays the second-highest bid. That bid is then divided either equally by the number of non-winning participants, or in proportion to the amount of each non-winning bidder’s sealed bid.
Ascending-bid auctions: These auctions are carried out interactively in real time, with bidders present either physically (live auction) or electronically (online auction). The seller gradually raises the price, bidders drop out until the final bidder remains, and the final party wins the TLD at this final price.
Live Oral auctions: Bidders shout out prices or submit them electronically. This form of auction will be appropriate when each of the applicants in a contention set agree on a specific time.
In most cases, auctions will take place after the ICANN’s Initial Evaluation is released, the Objection period ends and after GAC early warnings are issued. However, in some cases, it will be appropriate to conduct the auction prior to those dates if all parties agree.
Further details on the auctions and how they work can be found at RightOfTheDot or contact
About Right Of The Dot™
The principals of Right Of The Dot have extensive experience in the domain industry. They are experts in Domain Auctions and have been instrumental in premium domain strategies and the launch of many TLDs including .Co, .Me, .XXX, .info, .biz, .me, .asia and .mobi, over the last 15 years. This unique experience of working with all of the major new TLD launches over the past 10 years allows Right Of The Dot to offer new gTLD applicants guidance on how to best mitigate risk vs. reward through the auction process.
Headquartered in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA, Escrow.com, a privately held company, has pioneered the process of online escrow services. The Company, founded in 1999 by Fidelity National Financial, has established itself as the leading provider of secure business and consumer transaction management on the Internet. All escrow services offered on the Website are provided independently and exclusively by Internet Escrow Services (SM) (IES), one of the operating subsidiaries of Escrow.com. IES is fully licensed and accredited as an escrow company and is subject to compliance with all applicable nationwide escrow regulations.
Of course the downside to any potential arrangements between applicants is that the strings could still end up having issues for a myriad of other reasons ..
Oh the “fun”!
- Here’s how Donuts wants to resolve its 158 new gTLD contention fights (domainincite.com)
- ICANN looking for new gTLD testing provider on very tight deadline (domainincite.com)