NU DOT CO LLC has prevailed in the auction for the price of US $135 million to operate the dotWeb (.WEB) gTLD while Vistaprint Ltd prevailed with a price of US $1 for the dotWebs (.WEBS) gTLD. Eight applicants completed the requirements for participating in the .WEB/.WEBS auction.
On July 27, 2016, Power Auctions LLC, ICANN’s authorized auction service provider, conducted a New Generic Top-Level Domain (gTLD) Program auction to resolve contention for .WEB and .WEBS.
Auction serves as the method of last resort for determining which applicant may operate a gTLD when several entities have applied for the same or confusingly similar gTLDs and was defined through ICANN’s bottom-up, multistakeholder process.
The proceeds from New gTLD Program auctions, which will total more than US $230 million, are being reserved. The multistakeholder community will develop proposals for how these proceeds could be distributed.
“New gTLD Program auctions are the community-established, last resort method to help determine which applicant will have the opportunity to operate a particular new generic top-level domain, when multiple entities vied for the same or confusingly similar domains.” said Akram Atallah, president of ICANN’s Global Domains Division. “We look forward to seeing the community’s recommendations for the use of these proceeds.”
There are two different types of contention sets: direct and indirect. Direct contention occurs when multiple applicants are vying for the same or confusingly similar gTLDs while indirect contention exists when two or more applications are in direct contention with a third application, but not with one another. .WEB/.WEBS was an indirect contention set consisting of one application for .WEBS and seven applications for .WEB. In this case, the application for .WEBS prevailed along with one application for .WEB.