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The battle is on to decide who will manage some very attractive new gTLDs. Amazon has already managed to snatch .buy away from Google. But both giants will have to come face to face again in the future!
As you know, more than 1,300 new generic Top-Level Domains have been unleashed upon the Internet. Besides the country-code TLDs (ccTLDs) and the classical gTLDs like .com, .net or .org, they will give companies and individuals more possibilities to develop a clearer identity on the Internet, at an affordable price. They include many brands, generic strings, but also geographic gTLDs like .vlaanderen, .gent or .brussels. Check out all the options on our special new gTLDs page.
However, several companies have applied for the same new gTLDs, hoping to get the right to manage the Top-Level Domain – and, obviously, to receive the income generated by the sales of domains in those gTLDs. According to the procedure conceived by ICANN, when multiple companies apply for the same gTLD, an auction must be held (“string contention auction”) in order to see who has the most money to manage it. ICANN lets applicants choose between a private auction, organised by a private company, or an auction organised by ICANN itself.
The big difference between both procedures lies in the financial settlement of the auction. For a private auction, the revenue generated by the auction is (for the most part) distributed among the other applicants. For ICANN auctions, however, the winner must pay the whole amount to ICANN, which will then donate the money to a charity, whose name is still unknown.
No wonder that, in case of contention, most applicants went for private auctions: they are financially more attractive, but can also be organised faster than via ICANN’s heavy machinery.
These private auctions are held in strict secrecy. The name of the winner is revealed, unlike the amount of money that is spent. But now, thanks to the auction that ICANN organised on 17 September, we can get an idea of the lump sums that are paid for very interesting gTLDs.
Three gTLDs have been sold during this auction, which is actually only the second that ICANN has organised so far: .tech, .vip and .buy. The biggest amount of money ($6,760,000) has been spent for .tech. The buyer is Dot Tech LLC, who snatched the very promising gTLD from under the nose of Google and four other applicants. The gTLD .buy was knocked down at $4,588,888 and assigned to Amazon. Once again, Google had to bite the dust, just like for .vip, which was sold for $3,000,888 to Top Level Domain Holdings. By the way, in all three cases, Donuts (the company that, in collaboration with all sorts of partners, submitted applications for no less than 307 gTLDs) was also an applicant.
It seems that Google and Amazon will cross swords again on other occasions. Both have applied for some extremely attractive gTLDs: .app and .book. This battle will also be fought by Donuts, and Famous Four Media too, which is not as greedy as Donuts, but which nevertheless submitted 61 applications. We all wonder who will win this race!
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