A total of eighteen applications for new Top Level Domains (TLDs) have been withdrawn by the applicants.
Of the 18 applications that have been withdrawn so far, just five were applications for generic terms, and the remaining thirteen withdrawn applications were for branded Top Level Domains. In the case of the branded TLDs, it may be that the applicant originally only filed what has been called a "defensive application", meaning that the company applied for the Top Level Domain to prevent its falling in the hands of a competitor. Now that the applicant knows that no competitor has applied for the term, the application can be safely withdrawn, since the application round for Top Level Domains has closed, and it is unlikely that ICANN will hold another application round for new Top Level Domains for another five years.
Of the five applications that were generic terms, in the case of .AND, .ARE, and .EST, all three Top Level Domains were among those that were applied for by Charleston Road Registry, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary for Google. Frankly, we don't understand why Google applied for these strings in the first place.
In the case of .CAREMORE, Wellpoint, Inc. applied for two Top Level Domains: .anthem and .caremore. It is likely that Wellpoint, Inc. chose to withdraw its application for .caremore since a generic Top Level Domain application was filed for .care, and the two were similar enough to make it pointless for Wellpoint to continue pursuing the .caremore Top Level Domain.
The .gmbh Top Level Domain application, if it had proceeded, would have been part of a contention set. It is likely that the applicant withdrew for this reason.
By Mary Iqbal, Founder of DotAnything.co
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