IG Group’s .broker top level domain name application survives objection procedure.
TD Ameritrade has lost a Limited Public Interest (LPI) objection against IG Group’s application to run the .broker top level domain name.
IG Group is the company that recently spent $4.7 million for the domain name IG.com.
Both IG Group and Donuts applied for the .broker string, but IG Group plans to run the domain name as a “closed” registry. That, plus the fact that IG Group is in the brokerage business, is likely the reason that only IG Group’s .broker application was hit with LPI objections.
TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab filed LPIs against the application. The cases were consolidated, but then Charles Schwab never paid an advance on expenses. Therefore, only TD Ameritrade’s objection went forward.
In its objection, Ameritrade argued that delegating .broker to IG Group, especially as a closed registry, would have an anti-consumer effect and that competition would suffer as a result of the company getting the domain name.
This begs the question, if Ameritrade believes there’s a competitive advantage to owning .broker, then why didn’t it apply for the domain itself?
IG Group hits home on this point in its response:
IG Group also argues that the Objector is wrong in arguing that all brokers should have access to the .broker TLD by stating that not all brokers have access to broker.com, .net, .org, or any other TLD. In exactly the same way the ICANN programme allowed a first-come first-served applicant the opportunity to choose a generic name that suited it. Brokers missing out have lost out in a competition, which, according to IG Group, is a very different result than .broker being ‘anti-competitive’.
The three person panel noted that its role in an LPI objection is limited to assessing whether the gTLD string .broker is contrary to general or specific principles of international law for morality and public order. That’s clearly not the case with this objection, so it denied Ameritrade’s claims.