Donuts Inc. have committed to a private auction for 63 of the 307 new generic Top Level Domains it has applied for.
The new gTLD registry made its announcement in advance of next week’s commitment date for participation in the auction, which will be held on 3 June and is the first of a planned series of applicant auctions.
Of the strings being put up for auction, 33 are in two-horse races, 13 have three applicants, nine have four and three have five according to Domain Incite. The remaining four contention sets have six, seven, nine and 10 applicants respectively. Further, Uniregistry is involved in 17 of the contention sets, and told Domain Incite they do not intend to participate in the auction.
Since obviously not all applicants involved in the applications for strings in contention with Donuts are going to participate, and Donuts stating the auctions will occur only if all applicants for a specific string agree to participate, it is likely the auction will be a bit of a damp squib.
The applicant auction Donuts is holding has been designed by renowned auction expert Peter Cramton, is a voluntary mechanism to resolve contention sets, with the auction winner then becoming the sole applicant for the gTLD. Strings Donuts committed include .ART, .LAW, .SALE, .CHAT, .JEWELRY and others (full list below).
In the process leading to gTLD expansion, ICANN, directed competing applicants to resolve contention among themselves as often as possible. If resolution can’t be reached, ICANN will conduct an “auction of last resort.”
Donuts CEO and co-founder Paul Stahura said the company examined multiple contention resolution ideas but ultimately backed the applicant auction. “This model, similar to ICANN’s auction plan, is simple, understandable, and fair,” he said. “The auction not only allows the applicants to receive the benefits of the process, it helps move new gTLDs closer to delegation.”
The full list of strings Donuts intends to put up for auction are: