Afilias bid $135 million for rights to .web domain name.
There has been a lot of chatter after the $135 million .web auction as to who the second place bidder in the auction was.
I was skeptical of a report that it was Google. I was under the impression that it must have been Afilias, and that is now confirmed.
Afilias is asking (pdf) ICANN to void Nu Dot Co’s bid backed by Verisign and award the domain name to the second place bidder. In other words, Afilias.
Were Nu Dot Co’s bid voided and the auction not re-run, Afilias would pay somewhere between $57.5 million and $71.9 million for the domain, which was the third place bidder’s bid.
That’s an unlikely scenario. It’s going to take a court order or lawsuit settlement to force a change to the .web auction, and that would likely include re-running the auction.
Afilias announced last week that it bought .ski, .archi and .bio. Perhaps it used some of the money it had earmarked for .web to acquire these domains.
Rubens Kuhl says
Why would that make Afilias the #2 in the contention set ? Afilias could see that anyone else other than VRSN is better to run .web and make all new gTLDs a stronger ecosystem, even if not themselves running it…
… they could also see a chance of rerunning the private auction and getting a few millions in the process, since VRSN was the holdout.
Joseph Peterson says
Interesting to see the #2 bidder’s identity confirmed.
Didn’t think it was Google either. Google either wins or fails to participate. There’s no in between.
Domains are all about direct navigation, whereas Google’s business model is the diametrical opposite. The company really doesn’t appreciate domains because it’s the 1 thing their strategy / culture biases them to ignore. So it’s no surprise that they went for trivial, even juvenile TLDs like .MEME, .RSVP, .SOY, etc.
The only exception was .APP, which Google wanted because apps are another closed system where consumer attention can be effectively monopolized and consumer behavior tracked. Direct navigation circumvents Google. But apps, like Google search, discourage consumers from going directly to a website.
If Google wanted to promote domain usage, they’d want .WEB. But they don’t.
Kassey Lee says
Very well said, Joseph.
You’re 100% spot on, Joseph,
Google didn’t want .web.
The only reason I can surmise as to why Google decided to acquire .meme (a YouTube placeholder for channels or meme generator?) .rsvp (if they make another foray into Social, something they haven’t been able to do, .soy (as in I am in Spanish) — maybe to create a directory for Latinos/Spanish-speaking users, and possibly even an email address for users in Latin america to go with Gmail? Just guesses.
& yes, app will help expand Google’s closed ecosystem/walled garden for ad revenues
Timothy Garner says
DomainNameWire, are you going to respond to this?
Andrew Allemann says
Just did. Thanks.