Donuts paid Tucows to walk away from two new top level domain bids.
Donuts negotiated a deal with rival applicant Tucows for the strings .marketing and .media, which is why the latter withdrew its applications for the two domains last month.
While neither party disclosed the terms of the deal, a video released by Tucows shows that Donuts paid Tucows to withdraw its applications. Because Tucows is a public company, we will likely get more details when it releases earnings next week.
Donuts is now the only applicant for both strings. It also faced competition from Frank Schilling’s Uniregistry for both. Uniregistry has withdrawn both bids as well, which likely means it came to some sort of agreement with Donuts.
Update: here’s a statement from Donuts regarding the deal:
Donuts and Tucows were competing applicants for the .MEDIA and .MARKETING TLDs. Contention has been resolved privately between the two applicants, and Donuts will continue as the sole applicant and exclusive operator for both TLDs, with no joint venture or revenue sharing agreement with any party.
Donuts remains strongly committed to private auctions as the preferred method of resolving contention for its applications.