Donuts Commits 63 Strings to First gTLD Applicant Auction

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Private Auction Among Applicants for New Generic Top-Level Domains Will Resolve Contention Between Competing Applications

Donuts Inc., a registry for new generic top-level domain names (gTLDs), has committed to participate in the first online applicant auction for 63 of the 307 total gTLDs for which it has applied. The announcement is made in advance of next week’s commitment date for participation in the auction, which will be held on June 3 and is the first of a planned series of applicant auctions.

The applicant auction, designed by renowned auction expert Peter Cramton, is a voluntary mechanism to resolve contention sets, an industry term for multiple applications for the same “string” of characters comprising a gTLD, with the auction winner then becoming the sole applicant for the gTLD. Strings Donuts committed include .ART, .LAW, .SALE, .CHAT, .JEWELRY and others (full list below). The auctions will occur only if all applicants for a specific string agree to participate.

In the process leading to gTLD expansion, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the technical coordinating body overseeing the program, directed competing applicants to resolve contention among themselves as often as possible. If resolution can’t be reached, ICANN will conduct an “auction of last resort.” Many applicants, however, have found value in the private auction approach—not only will its design treat all applicants fairly, it will produce an auction winner in a straightforward and well-understood manner and will distribute to non-winning bidders the proceeds of the winning bid, helping recover a portion of an applicant’s investment costs.

Donuts CEO and co-founder Paul Stahura said the company examined multiple contention resolution ideas but ultimately backed the applicant auction. “This model, similar to ICANN’s auction plan, is simple, understandable, and fair,” he said. “The auction not only allows the applicants to receive the benefits of the process, it helps move new gTLDs closer to delegation.”

The law firm of Morrison & Foerster will act as a “neutral” for legal and settlement functions, while JP Morgan Escrow Services will provide escrow. More information is available at

gTLDs Committed to First Auction by Donuts Inc.:


About Donuts Inc.
Donuts is a domain name registry that is widening competition and choice in Internet identities through hundreds of new top-level domain name choices, securely operated in multiple languages and character sets. Donuts is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with offices in Southern California and Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit

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Mason Cole
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