ICANN will begin hosting auctions to settle duplicated bids for generic top-level domains (gTLDs) on June 4.
Auctions are seen as a last resort for resolving “string contention sets” – in which more than one company has applied for a gTLD.
There are more than 200 remaining contention sets, with duplicated bids including .poker and .merck. Private actions have already settled some disputes.
ICANN plans to auction 20 gTLDs each month, running from June this year to March 2015, but said the schedule could be changed. The first of 10 planned auctions will start at 13.00 UTC on June 4.
The auctions, run by Power Auctions LLC, will be conducted online. Each auction will have a number of rounds, using an ‘ascending clock’ format. Each round will have a start and an end time, between which bids must be submitted. The results of each round will be posted during the break at the end.
Before the auctions begin participants must submit a deposit, which forms the basis for their bidding limit. If the deposit is less than $2 million the bidding limit will be set at 10 times the deposit; if it is $2 million or higher, the threshold will be deemed “unlimited”.
ICANN has notified all applicants that are eligible for auction and they must confirm their participation within 28 days
In a private auction in February this year, gTLD applicant Top Level Domain Holdings said it won .wedding and .green at a combined cost of $2.23 million.
The full list of gTLDs in contention is here.
This article was first published on 20 March 2014 in World IP Review
icann, gtlds, auctions, power auctions llc