February 10, 2017

ICANN to proceed with .AFRICA delegation after court order

A court in LA has turned down a request to prevent ICANN from delegating .AFRICA, which means it may go live soon

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) announced today that the California Superior Court has turned down DotConnectAfrica’s (DCA’s) motion for injunction to stop the delegation of the .AFRICA gTLD to ZA Central Registry (ZACR).

It has been over two years since ZACR won its application for .AFRICA and signed its Registry Agreement with ICANN. DotConnectAfrica, the only other applicant, was rejected because it had no African government support. They sued ICANN for fraud, after alleging that ICANN broke its own rules and was partial to ZACR from the outset.

All new gTLD applicants have to undertake the “Covenant Not to Sue” in the New gTLD Applicant Guidebook. In dismissing the motion for injunction, the court found the Covenant to be legally enforceable. Superior Court Judge Howard Halm ruled:

DCA’s claims against ICANN for fraud and unfair business practices are likely to be barred.  As a result, DCA cannot establish that it is likely to succeed on the merits.

A copy of the the court order can be viewed on the ICANN website here (PDF).

ICANN said that it will now follow its normal processes towards delegation, raising hopes that the new gTLD will go live soon.

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