ICANN Offers Full Refund To TLD Applicants Wanting To Withdraw

ICANN has offered a full refund of application fees for any gTLD applicant that wishes to withdraw its application prior to publication of the list of applied-for new top level domains.The announcement comes about following a resolution authorising full refunds that was adopted during a Board of Directors workshop in Amsterdam on Sunday, 6 May 2012 and was announced in the latest update from Akram Atallah, ICANN’s COO.The announcement notes that ICANN recognises this represents an increase of only $5000 over the refund that withdrawing applicants would otherwise receive, but that the organisation believes it is an important part of fulfilling our commitment to treat applicants fairly.However after going through the detailed and lengthy application process, it would be unlikely many, if any, applicants would take up ICANN’s offer.There were 2091 applications for new gTLDs in the TLD Application System when ICANN took the TAS offline on 12 April following a security glitch. From these applications, the organisation had received around US$350m in application fees. In addition, there were 214 potential applications that were registered prior to the 29 March cut-off date, but whose payments have not yet been received or reconciled.Last week ICANN also confirmed they are in the process of notifying applicants whether they were affected by the software glitch, and that they plan to complete this process on or before Tuesday, 8 May. Shortly after that process is complete, they will announce the schedule for reopening TAS and completing the application period. Once the system is reopened, it will keep it open for at least five business days.