August 10, 2016

Donuts asks ICANN to pay $22.5 million

Latest development follows last month’s contentious and record-breaking .WEB auction

In a new twist to the .WEB auction from last month, Donuts has revised its lawsuit against the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), as it now demands a settlement of $22.5 million in addition to damages.

Last month, Nu Dot Co shattered records as it won the rights to .WEB with a mammoth $135 million bid. Donuts promptly filed a lawsuit against ICANN as it claimed foul play was involved.

It has now revised its complaint as it cites new evidence of Verisign’s alleged involvement in Nu Dot Co’s winning bid, and claims that ICANN “willfully and intentionally committed wrongful acts”.

Evidence has recently emerged through Verisign’s quarterly report that it had transferred $130 million for “the future assignment of contractual rights, which are subject to third-party consent”. Donuts allege that this payment was made to Nu Dot Co.

Donuts, in its lawsuit, claim that ICANN:

Intentionally failed to abide by its contractual obligations to conduct a full and open investigation into Nu Dot Co’s admission because it was in ICANN’s interest that the .web contention set be resolved by way of ICANN auction.

ICANN deprived Donuts and the other applicants for the .web gTLD of the right to compete for .web in accordance with established ICANN policy. Court intervention is necessary to ensure ICANN’s compliance with its own accountability and transparency mechanisms.

Donuts are demanding $22.5 million since they claim that is the amount they would have received if the auction had been private and still closed for $135 million.

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