Communication shows that Web.com didn’t receive contract until after reservation program was live.
Last month I wrote that ICANN’s Registrar Stakeholder Group (RrSG) was questioning if Top Level Domain Holdings/Minds + Machines’ “Priority Registration System” complied with ICANN contracts.
Issues around registry and registrar cross ownership and making sure registries provide equal opportunity to unaffiliated registrars are sure to pop up in coming years. This is just one example.
At ICANN’s request, RrSG has provided evidence of its claim in the form of email communications between Web.com and Minds + Machines CEO Antony Van Couvering.
It appears the communication shows that Minds + Machines launched its Priority Registration System prior to offering its registry/registrar agreement to other registrars (or at least Web.com), which may have given the company a leg up on the competition. It’s an issue of timing.
It’s not clear to me if this actually violates ICANN agreements based on my reading of the contracts. It will be interesting to see how ICANN responds.
(You can see Van Couvering’s response to the initial RrSG request here.)