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With .APP, ICANN's Auction Piggy Bank Just Got Even Bigger

John Levine

ICANN reports that Google paid over $25 million for .APP in the February 25 domain auction. They were willing to bid $30M, but it's a second bid auction so that was just enough to beat out whoever the second highest bidder was. The auction proceeds piggy bank just nearly doubled from $34M to about $59M dollars, and ICANN still has no idea what to do with it. Since there are still a lot more domain conflicts yet to be resolved, some for likely high bid names like .SEARCH and .WEB, it still seems possible that the final haul could be as much as $100M.

One interesting idea I've heard is to use part of it to fund open source DNS projects. Put some amount in a trust earmarked for DNS code projects, and spend the income on stuff like upgraded DNS libraries. Earlier this month in Singapore people at the Universal Domain Acceptance session said that's still a problem, and one technically experienced participant pointed out that if they want better DNS software they could pay people to write it and give it away. So that's an obvious place to start, with benefits that would be much broader than the usual "bring people from poor countries to ICANN meetings" suggestions.

By John Levine, Author, Consultant & Speaker
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.Web Christopher Ambler  –  Feb 28, 2015 11:10 AM PDT

Ah yes, the auction for .web - the domain I proposed in 1994, got permission to implement, implemented, played by the rules and paid ICANN $50,000 in 2000 only to be shown the door, and then had simply taken after 20 years of work and told, "bid millions of dollars, Mr. Pioneer, that you don't have."

All so ICANN could then auction it off for what, now, looks to be well over $30 million.

In what Universe is this fair?

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