Daily Wrap: .POST Goes Live, Go Daddy Denies Front Running, .HOTEL Objections, 3 gTLD Applications Withdrawn

A new gTLD came into existence this month with the .POST gTLD entering the root of the internet. The gTLD was first approved in December 2009 and there has been a project underway to get it operational since then. In June 2012 Afilias was chosen as the .POST registry operator.

Go Daddy was recently accused of misusing customer domain name search activity for profit by a blogger. And on a posting on the Inside Go Daddy blog, the company vehemently denied they have anything to do with front running, saying they never have “and never will front run domain names. Ever.”

The process is called domain name front running and it means a registrar monitors customer searches and then registers the domain names for their own purposes.

The posting asks “why would someone believe they experienced front running?” And then answers saying “sheer volume. As the world’s largest registrar, the volume of domain name activity, both in terms of availability searches and registrations we see, is significant. Go Daddy performs tens of millions of availability checks for our customers each day, many of which are searches for the same domain name by different customers.”

“In fact, more than six percent of customer searches for available domain names are performed by more than one person each day. This overlap in domain name requests happens every day. As unique as customers believe their domain name ideas are, there’s more ‘innovation collision’ than many people realize. With so many domain name registrations happening every day, there is a good probability a domain name you searched for is also being searched by someone else.”

Some of the world’s major hotel chains are planning to object to six of the seven .HOTEL gTLD applications, along with applications for .HOTELS, .HOTEIS and .HOTELES, Domain Incite reported.

The coalition of hotel chains says “they want the Independent Objector to object to these applications on community grounds. Failing that, they’ll file their own official Community Objections.”

The “coalition’s members include the Choice Hotels, InterContinental, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood and Wyndham hotel chains. Together, they say they have over 25,000 hotels in over 100 countries.” The applicant that has gained the support of the hotel coalition is DOTHOTEL.

Domain Incite is also speculating that it is Google that has withdrawn three of its gTLD applications with the likely gTLDs withdrawn being .AND, .ARE and .EST, “the ISO 3166-1 alpha-3 codes for the United Arab Emirates, Estonia and Andorra, which would be classified as country names and therefore banned by the Applicant Guidebook.”

Last week ICANN hosted a webinar that Domain Incite participated in which revealed, among other things, in addition to the three gTLD applications that have been withdrawn, there have been 49 requests to change applications, the vast majority of applications will receive clarifying questions with around 90 per cent receiving clarifying questions on financial status and around half of geographic applications not yet supplying letters of support from the relevant government.

Ram Mohan has been reappointed as the Security and Stability Advisory Committee non-voting liaison to the ICANN Board with the new term commencing at the conclusion of the 2012 annual meeting. Mohan commenced this role in 2009. Mohan is Executive Vice President, & Chief Technology Officer of Afilias.