Company updates investors on internationalized domain names.
Yesterday VeriSign released fourth quarter results. On the investor conference call CEO Mark McLaughlin answered questions regarding the market opportunity for internationalized domain names, or IDNs.
McLaughlin explained “You could expect us to bid on all of the transliterations for .com and .net” when the new gTLD process is opened up.
Of course ‘all’ is a big number. I expect the company to apply for 15-20 so-called IDN equivalents of .com.
McLaughlin also said the company has about one million existing IDN second level domain name registrations for .com and .net combined.
It’s likely that owners of these existing second level IDNs will be able to pay to “unlock” the IDN equivalent, so that IDN.com becomes IDN.IDN.
(I’m not sure what would happen if VeriSign ever lost the .com contract, as it would still technically have the contracts for the IDN equivalents of .com. I doubt anyone has considered that in the new gTLD process. The same goes for other registries to apply for “IDN equivalents”.)
VeriSign expects the first batch of new gTLDs to come online in 2012, which looks likely given recent developments at ICANN.