Domain Industry News

Ethos to Make Legally Binding .Org Commitments

Ethos Capital published a press release today with several announcements regarding the .Org registry and the commitments that company will make should its acquisition of PIR go through. In addition, the company announced that it agreed to extend ICANN’s review period to March 20th.

In response to feedback Ethos received from many different interest groups, I was told by an Ethos PR representative that Ethos will be “embedding its commitments on pricing, censorship and data use policies in a legally-binding contract between PIR and ICANN (called a “PIC”), which gives ICANN and the community the ability to enforce those commitments.”

Q4 2019 LXDO Liquid Domain Report

Giuseppe Graziano of GGRG brokerage published the LXDO quarterly report covering the short (liquid) domain name market in the last quarter. According to the LXDO website, “The objective of the report is to present key statistics and generate a debate amongst the industry stakeholders about the fair value of such domains.” The LXDO report is created with the help of Escrow.com and Intelium.

The report covers 614,928 .com domain names, including 2 – 4 letter .com domain names, 2-5 number .com domain names, and 2-3 character (letter + number combos) .com domain names.

Namecheap: “Help Us Avoid .COM Price Increases”

Namecheap sent out an email to customers this afternoon to warn them about the potential for price increases on .com domain names. The company’s warning comes shortly after Namecheap CEO Richard Kirkendall penned an article on the company blog, which has been trending on Hacker News this afternoon.

As you can see below, Namecheap is letting its customers know about the reason prices may increase to buy and renew .com domain name, and the company is advising customers about how they can share their opinions with ICANN to voice opposition to the price increases. Over the weekend, Dynadot and NameBright also sent similar emails to their customers, and I hope other domain registrars do the same. The ICA created a tool to make it easier for domain registrants to comment to ICANN.

Here’s the email Namecheap sent to customers this afternoon (thanks to Prakhar Bindal for sharing this with me):

NameBright: “Upcoming Price Hikes for .Com – Voice Your Opinion!”

Earlier today, I shared an email Dynadot sent to its customers to notify them of the potential for price hikes on .com domain names and let them know they can share their comments to ICANN. I think it is a good idea for registrars to let their customers know about this hot button issue that impacts all .com domain name registrants. If the wholesale price of .com domain names increases, it is the registrars that will have to explain the reason why to their customers, so now is a very good time to let them know they can share comments with ICANN to oppose the increases.

NameBright also sent its customers an email with a similar message to the one sent by Dynadot. Here’s how Name Bright let its customers know about the issue:

Airbridge Equity Partners Invests in Dan.com

Rick van Boekel, Co-founder and Partner at Airbridge Equity Partners (AEP), announced that his company has acquired a minority stake in Dan.com:

The Netherlands-based private equity company also published a news release that had few details about the investment but provided information about Dan.com and why the company decided to invest:

The Half Billion Domain Auction Business You Don’t Know About

Adam Yamada-Hanff shared a link with me to a My First Million podcast featuring someone who has been active in the business of domain names but I had never heard about him or his business before. I embedded the podcast at the bottom of this article.

Sheel Mohnot runs a company called Innovative Auctions, and according to his reporting on the podcast, the company sold more than half a billion dollars worth of Internet real estate. You may be scratching your head a bit, as did I, but the company was responsible for many of the auctions involving the new gTLD domain name extensions. Many of the new gTLD contention sets participated in the ascending clock second price auctions managed by Sheel’s company. According to the podcast, the top couple of auctions went for over $100 million, although the extensions and amounts were not shared.

Here’s a description of the podcast found at the Listen Notes website:

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