Johnson & Johnson which has owned and advertised Baby.com for many years, just won the ICANN Last Resort Auction for the new gTLD .Baby for 3,088,888
Google, Minds + Machines, Donuts, Radix and Famous Four lost in the auction and unlike private auctions will not get any share of the winning bid.
In the other ICANN last resort auction the Canadian Real Estate Association beat Afilias for .MLS, paying $3,359,000.
Still seems to me that the ICANN auctions are going to less money than the private auctions based on the results I have heard on the private auction front.
For those big portfolio players it all washes out in the end but for the small guy that is looking to win a new gTLD in contention, IMHO it seems like the ICANN auctions are resulting in lower winning bids since the profit motive for winning by losing is gone.
.MLS joins a crowded vertical of new gTLD’s including:
It will be interesting to see what J & J does with .Baby since it owns Baby.com
According to its applicaton here is what J & J which refers to themselves in the application as (JJSI) plans to do with .Baby
To facilitate the strategic and sustainable development of the .BABY gTLD, JJSI currently envisions a three-stage rollout:
1. Stage On
The current best thinking involves a business model in which a limited number of generic second-level domain names relevant to the baby care industry would initially be reserved⁄allocated to Johnson & Johnson and its qualified subsidiaries and affiliates. These domain names would provide a framework for a hierarchical and intuitive naming system for Internet users and consumers to more easily navigate the .BABY namespace. This initial use will provide Johnson & Johnson’s IT and security personnel the time to run a number of tests to ensure seamless and secure access to .BABY websites, and interoperability with various software and Web-based applications.
2. Stage Tw
Once successful testing has been completed, Johnson & Johnson’s existing business units and select licensees and partners would be allowed to register domain names in the .BABY gTLD. At this time JJSI has not determined the identity of these select partners; however, any third party would be required to have a prior contractual agreement with Johnson & Johnson. This initial rollout guarantees that the identity and contact information for each .BABY domain name registrant will be verifiable based upon a preexisting business relationship. This allocation mechanism also minimizes startup and operational costs of the .BABY gTLD.
This initial allocation of domain names within the gTLD will allow JJSI to properly and sustainably develop the .BABY gTLD in such a manner as to ensure that the gTLD is viewed by Internet users as a trusted namespace for access to information regarding baby care health, wellness, education, information, products and⁄or services.
Given the fact that JJSI will have full control over the number of registrations in the .BABY gTLD namespace, JJSI is confident that the number of domain name registrations will be less than 10,000 in the first three years of operation.
It is in Stage Two that JJSI will evaluate expanding the operations of the .BABY gTLD to permit registration by other registrants outside of licensees and strategic partners. Should an assessment of its expansion strategy lead to a decision to extend registration rights to these other parties, this expansion is currently planned to take place during Stage Three, and likely after the first five years of operation.
3. Stage Thre
Based on its experience with any expansion implemented in Stage Two, JJSI will assess whether its business plan and expansion strategy should be augmented by extending registration rights to a broader class of licensees, potential customers of Johnson & Johnson, and other third parties. However, it is the current intention that JJSI would require any class of future potential registrants to be in compliance with the restrictive membership⁄charter criteria mentioned above.
It is anticipated by JJSI that changes to the domain name industry, and particularly the impact of new .GENERIC gTLDs, will take at least five years to be realized and assessed. Any decision to expand the gTLDs beyond corporate, partner, and licensee use would likely be predicated by a Johnson & Johnson market analysis of both the market at the time for new gTLD registrations and consumer adoption of these new Internet addresses.
If Johnson & Johnson’s market analysis justifies this expansion before the sixth year of operation, JJSI would, if necessary, work with ICANN to secure an amended Continued Operations Instrument corresponding to a potential increase in registration volume above the current executed level. However, this scenario is unlikely because JJSI, in calculating its COI, has already exceeded the baseline guidance set forth by ICANN.
Notwithstanding this potential future expanded use of the .BABY name space beginning in the sixth year of operation, JJSI currently anticipates implementing a throttle mechanism to ensure that any proposed expanse is controlled and responsible.
The potential use of the .BABY gTLD will also be driven by Johnson & Johnson’s future business strategies as identified in its annual report and investor filings, see http:⁄⁄www.investor.jnj.com⁄annual-reports.cfm.