.Web auction should still take place this month, ICANN determines.
ICANN has quickly responded (pdf) to a reconsideration request filed by Radix and Donuts that requested this month’s .web top level domain auction be postponed.
The two companies are concerned that control of applicant Nu Dot Co might have changed, perhaps to a big-pocketed domain company.
Concern was sparked when Nu Dot Co decided it didn’t want to settle the contention set in a private auction, and would instead opt for ICANN’s auction of last resort. It then made some statements to suggest changes with the company.
In a private auction, the losers get the proceeds. That’s not so with an ICANN auction.
ICANN says it diligently investigated the complaint about Nu Dot Co already, “and found no basis to initiate the application change request process.”
It also states that “the timing parameters within the auction rules were established specifically so that auction participants could not game the system by filing last-minute accountability mechanisms” like Radix and Donuts have done.
I’m not entirely sure what Radix and Donuts hope to gain by unmasking a potential third-party that will be funding Nu Dot Co’s bid. Perhaps, if they determine it’s their arch nemesis Verisign, they will bid higher to prevent the company from getting it. Otherwise, I would hope that applicants are bidding based on their own calculations of the value of the string. That shouldn’t change if another bidder changes.
Of course, I imagine the parties are quite miffed that the auction won’t be a private auction. They will lose multi-million dollar windfall as a result. But even unmasking the alleged third party will not change that.