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.WEB Sold For $135M To Somewhat Mysterious Bidder

ICANN announced Thursday that the .web new generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) sold for a whopping, and record, $135 million through an auction. The .webs new gTLD was also up on the auction block, but sold to Vistaprint for a rather paltry, in comparison, $1 million. There were eight applicants bidding for .web.The successful bigger for .web was a mysterious company called NU DOT CO that many suspect is back by Verisign. Court cases and efforts by Donuts, Schlund Technologies from Germany and Radix from India to stop the auction because they believed NU DOT CO’s ownership structure was not clear failed.The winning applicant, whoever NU DOT CO is, has beaten the previous record amount paid to operate a new gTLD, that for .shop which GMO Registry paid $41,501,000 for.The proceeds from New gTLD Program auctions, which will total more than $230 million, are being reserved. The multistakeholder community will develop proposals for how these proceeds could be distributed. A community-based drafting team is currently working on a charter for a Cross-Community Working Group that will create recommendations for Board consideration.After the auction, 218 of 234 contention sets are now resolved. The majority have self-resolved, but 16 sets resolved via ICANN auction.