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TLDH explains its change of heart on private domain auctions

Antony Van Couvering explains why it believes private TLD auctions make sense.

Up until last week, it appeared that Top Level Domain Holdings, one of the largest new TLD applicants, would not participate in private auctions for TLDs.

But that changed, and now TLDH/Minds+Machines CEO Antony Van Couvering has published an explanation for the reversal.

It’s worth reading the explanation in its entirety. One of the key reasons for TLDH’s opinion: applicants will exit the auction process with more cash in hand to promote new TLDs than if they give it to ICANN in “last resort” auctions.

Indeed, as a competing applicant told me recently, “Once someone really thinks about the benefits of private auctions, they’d be silly not to participate.”

In a private auction, the losers walk away with most of the cash paid by the winner.

Everyone is running their own calculations, and it’s possible some may believe they’ll come out ahead if they don’t participate. Yet the fact that some companies are participating in private auctions changes the calculus even for those that don’t. Some of these companies may leave the private auction process with more cash (thanks to losing bids) to go to an ICANN auction against a company that sat on the sideline during private auctions.

TLDH said it won’t participate in the current round of auctions because it’s too early.

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