You can have .app if I can have .cloud.
I talked to Top Level Domain Holdings (TLDH) Chairman Peter Dengate Thrush about 15 minutes after ICANN’s “big reveal” news conference ended last week. He told me he had already received an email from another applicant for a TLD that TLDH had applied for, saying basically “let’s talk”.
And that’s a lot of the talking that will be going on at next week’s ICANN meeting in Prague. Competitors who applied for identical or similar strings will hold backroom meetings to try to hash out deals in an effort to avoid a costly auction.
There will also be a lot of bluffing going on in this high stakes game of poker.
Should you take your application off the table now and get most of your money back from ICANN in return for a payoff or a cut of the action? Or should you tell the other party you’re willing to spend millions in an auction for the domain to try to up the stakes?
Does it make sense to abandon one of your applications if the other party agrees to abandon one of its own that is contested with you?
It gets even more complicated if a string has three or more applications. Or try 13. Or if Google or Amazon is one of the applicants.
Also don’t be surprised if tensions get really high at the meeting. Before, everyone had a common enemy in ICANN. Now they are enemies with each other.