July 25, 2016

Donuts sues ICANN over auction of .web domain

The plaintiff is unhappy with ICANN’s response thus far and chose to take the complaint to court.

One of new top level domain name company Donuts’ subsidiaries has sued ICANN in an effort to postpone the auction for .web and potentially disqualify one of the participants.

Donuts and at least two other applicants are concerned that someone is bankrolling applicant Nu Dot Co’s application for .web. They believe there might be a change of control to the entity and new people involved, which they allege might require a change to Nu Dot Co’s application. They want this week’s auction of last resort for .web postponed while the matter is investigated.

Nu Dot Co, set up by Juan Diego Calle, has traditionally settled contention sets by participating in private auctions in which the losers split the proceeds. That could be millions of dollars each in the case of .web. But Nu Dot Co declined to participate in a private auction for .web, forcing all other applicants to an ICANN auction in which the proceeds will be held for an as-yet-unspecified use.

ICANN says it has already investigated the matter and determined that there’s no reason for Nu Dot Co to file a change to its application, which is what Donuts and others are demanding.

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