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Booking.com Buys Rights To Operate .HOTELS For $2.2 Million

ICANN new generic Top Level Domains logoThe hullaballoo over the contentious .hotels/.hoteis gTLD applications, largely due to their similarity, has been resolved with the .hotels applicant prevailing and buying the rights to operate .hotels for $2.2 million, making it the equal ninth highest price paid. Two applicants participated and Booking.com B.V., applicant for .hotels, prevailed.

While the price indicates the registry operator sees a big future for the gTLD, it is way short of the record paid for the right to operate a gTLD – that was the $25,001,000 paid by Google to operate .app. Other gTLDs to feature in the millions include .baby, bought by pharmaceutical firm Johnson & Johnson, which makes a range of baby products, for just over $3m while Dot Tech LLC bought .tech for $6,760,000. Others to top the million dollar mark are .realty ($5,588,888), .salon ($5,100,575), .buy (bought by Amazon for $4,588,888), .mls ($3,359,000), .vip (3,000,888), .spot ($2,200,000), .ping ($1,501,000).

On 18 November 2015, Power Auctions LLC, ICANN’s authorised auction service provider, conducted a New gTLD Program Auction to resolve string contention for one new generic top-level domain (gTLD) contention set: .hotels/.hoteis. The applicants were unable to resolve contention among themselves; thus their contention set proceeded to auction, which is the method of last resort to resolve string contention as prescribed in Module 4 of the New gTLD Program Applicant Guidebook.

All proceeds from the Auction are being segregated and withheld from use until ICANN’s Board of Directors define a plan for an appropriate use of the funds through consultation with the community.