ICANN held its first Auction of Last Resort for New gTLD contention sets on June 4th. An Auction of Last Resort is the final option that new gTLD applicants with competing bids can use in order to solve their contention sets. If applicants are unable solve the contention between themselves, applicants will be forced into an ICANN Last Resort Auction.
This auction process has been in the planning stages for quite sometime and it is refreshing to see some action. ICANN, through its authorized auction services provider, Power Auctions LLC, completed the first auction for the string 信息, (xn--vuq861b) which means “info” in Chinese. Two applicants, Afilias Limited and Beijing Tele-info Network Technology Co., LTD. are in this contention set.
Beijing Tele-info Network Technology Co., LTD. prevailed in the auction for the winning price of $600,000. According to the bidding info shared by ICANN, the highest bid was 900,000 USD by Beijing Tele-info and was sold at the second highest bid per auction rules.
It’s quite odd that Afilias, the operator for .info would let this string go, and at such a low price as well. The proceeds from the auction will be placed into a fund and put to use for an unspecified purpose.
This was the first auction for the New gTLD program. Subsequent auctions are scheduled to occur on a monthly basis throughout 2014 and into early 2015.