Guardian News Withdraws gTLD Applications In Apparent Deal Over .COM Domain

Last week the Goldstein Report reported Britain’s Guardian newspaper was rebranding itself online, and will soon transfer its domain name for the newspaper from guardian.co.uk to theguardian.com.But it appears the news company, Guardian News & Media, and the previous registrant of theguardian.com, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, have done a deal that involves the transfer of a valuable .com domain name and withdrawing from gTLD applications to allow one company no competition in its application.As well as taking ownership of theguardian.com, Guardian News & Media, the owner of one of the world’s most popular online news websites, and the only non-.com domain suffix in the top ten Google News list of digital news outlets, has also withdrawn its applications for .guardian, .gdn and .guardianmedia, leaving Guardian Life Insurance Company of America free to pursue its application for .guardian without any competition from the media group, now the only other applicant for .guardian.It has been known that applicants for generic Top Level Domains that have applied for the same, or even similar, strings, would negotiate with one buying out the other or working together. Or even smaller players dropping out because they can’t compete with the bigger applicants with more money. Which is what seems to have happened with the two companies.The transfer of the domain name theguardian.com took place on 16 April according to Whois records, around three weeks after the media company withdrew applications for .guardian, .gdn and. guardianmedia, although it still has applications for .observer and .theguardian in progress.It is also interesting to note that Guardian Life Insurance Company of America has withdrawn its application for .guardianlife and is still progressing with its application for .guardian.