2018-03-07

New gTLD .WEB: Afilias vs ICANN, Verisign $VRSN & Nu Dot Co?

UPDATE May 11, 2018: Letter of 1 May 2018  from Arif Ali [Afilias] to Jeffrey LeVee [ICANN]  [Published by ICANN 10 May 2018] re: .WEB Contention Set, embed below:

UPDATE May 8, 2018: Letter of 28  Apr 2018 from Jeffrey LeVee [ICANN] to Arif Ali [Afilias] Published 7 May 2018] re: new gTLD .WEB--embed below--".WEB contention set is on hold":

UPDATE April 23, 2018:
Excerpt from 16 Apr 2018 Letter to ICANN from Counsel for Afilias (highlighting added) (full embed below)
Afilias drops "bomb" on ICANN Board--16 April 2018 Letter from Arif Ali (Afilias) to ICANN Board (pdf) embed below (excerpt above) [Published by ICANN on 23 April 2018]:

See also 23 April 2018 Letter from Arif Ali to ICANN Board [published by ICANN 24 April 2018] Dechert LLP ICANN's Response to DIDP Request No. 20180223-1.

UPDATE March 27, 2018--ICANN's response dated March 24, 2018 (pdf), to Afilias, embedded below, following this excerpt (pp. 11-12):
"On 1 February 2017, DOJ issued a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to ICANN in connection with DOJ’s investigation of Verisign’s proposed acquisition of NDC’s contractual rights to operate the .WEB gTLD. ICANN provided DOJ with information responsive to the CID. With regard to Item 9(a), the vast majority of the documents provided to DOJ are publicly available materials. Attachment A provides links to the publicly available documents that ICANN organization provided to DOJ in response to the CID. With respect to the non-public materials provided to DOJ, such materials are categorized as follows and are subject to various Nondisclosure Conditions:
"• Confidential data reports, subject to the following Nondisclosure Conditions: o Information provided by or to a government or international organization, or any form of recitation of such information, in the expectation that the information will be kept confidential and/or would or likely would materially prejudice ICANN's relationship with that party. o Information provided to ICANN by a party that, if disclosed, would or would be likely to materially prejudice the commercial interests, financial interests, and/or competitive position of such party or was provided to ICANN pursuant to a nondisclosure agreement or nondisclosure provision within an agreement. o Confidential business information and/or internal policies and procedures. o Trade secrets and commercial and financial information not publicly disclosed by ICANN."
Full response from ICANN embedded below:

Original post March 7, 2018:
ICANN's new gTLD .WEB -- It's not over till it's over: 
New gTLD .WEB Applicant (and second-highest bidder) Afilias (domain: afilias.info) Requests Update on ICANN’s Investigation of .WEB Contention Set and Further, Requests Documents under ICANN’s Documentary Information Disclosure Policy:

23 February 2018 Letter from Arif Ali of Dechert LLP on behalf of .WEB applicant Afilias to ICANN Board of Directors & ICANN President and CEO Göran Marby (pdf)--Request for Update on ICANN's Investigation of .WEB Contention Set and Request for Documents under ICANN's Documentary Information Disclosure Policy--embed further below--excerpt:
"Therefore, pursuant to ICANN’s transparency obligations, we respectfully request that ICANN provide an update on the status of ICANN’s investigation of the .WEB contention set, including: (1) the steps (if any) taken by ICANN to disqualify NDC’s [Nu Dot Co LLC] bid on the basis that NDC violated the rules applicable to its application; and (2) the steps (if any) taken by ICANN to assess competition issues arising out of delegation of .WEB to Verisign.
"We further request that ICANN take no action in regards to .WEB until Afilias can review and respond to the documents provided as a result of the below DIDP request; and that ICANN confirm that it has not, and will not, enter into a registry agreement for .WEB with NDC until, to the extent Afilias seeks review of any decisions relating to .WEB through ICANN’s accountability mechanisms, such mechanisms are completed. We nonetheless emphasize that Afilias reserves all of its rights to pursue any and all rights or remedies available to it in any forum against ICANN, NDC, or Verisign in connection with the delegation of the .WEB gTLD." (emphasis added)


See also on Domain Mondo: 

UPDATE: A look back at the .WEB auction results, July 27, 2016--Afilias was the lone bidder against Nu Dot Co (financed by Verisign) above the $57,500,000 - $71,900,00 round:
*Also note that Charleston Road Registry Inc. is Google's affiliate registry operator.

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