Internet authority ICANN have been permitted to release the O.COM domain name from the United States Department of Justice. Following this decision, ICANN have been consulting various stakeholders to auction O.COM via domain name registry Verisign.
According to ICANN, there are only three single letter .COM domain names released till now. They also believe that this rarity is a result of businesses focusing more on nTLDs than on single letter .COM domain names.
With this move, ICANN say that a lot of single letter .COM domains that are parked will enter the market. They also say that with this shift in thinking, domain names will benefit businesses in the long run.
Speaking about the demand for O.COM, ICANN say that Verisign put a formal request in Nov. 2017 to auction the domain name. Overstock.com, a home decor company have confirmed that they have put a request to ICANN to buy this domain name.
ICANN say that after acquiring permission to release the O.COM domain name, certain amendments need to be made into the .COM registry agreement. They further added that under the proposed agreement, O.COM will be allocated through an auction with standard registry fees going to one or more non-profits to benefit the internet community in general.
Single character domain names were approved to be released for .COOP and .MOBI domains in 2008 and later for .INFO, .CAT, .ASIA etc., say ICANN. They further added that single letter names were not required to be reserved for gTLDs as a part of the new gTLD program.
Industry experts claim that Verisign’s part in this auction is likely to benefit them in the future. They also say that Verisign can use this opportunity as a proof or an example to help sell other single letter domain names or sell all the single letter domain names in bulk to other buyers in the market.