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Uniregistry Auction Comments

  • To: comments-new-gtld-auction-rules-16dec13@xxxxxxxxx
  • Subject: Uniregistry Auction Comments
  • From: Bret Fausett <bret@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Jan 2014 15:17:35 -0800

These comments are submitted by Uniregistry, Corp. ("Uniregistry"), an 
applicant for 52 top-level domains, many of which will be impacted by the 
auctions rules adopted by ICANN.

First and foremost, Uniregistry is disappointed that ICANN changed the 
"5-TLD-per-month" cap from its initial proposal. On the current draft schedule, 
Uniregistry has three months in which it will have seven TLD applications go to 
auction. The change from 5 TLDs per month to 7 TLDs per month materially 
changes the capital an applicant much park with ICANN for maximum bids from 
$10,000,000/month to $14,000,0000/month. This has a material, negative impact 
on virtually all start-up registry applicants. For this reason, Uniregistry 
proposes that ICANN either revert to the "5-TLD-per-month" cap or scale the 
maximum bid deposit downward to cap an applicant's single-month deposit 
obligation to $10,000,000.

On the terms of the proposed Registry Auction Agreement:

- Section 4.1 should be amended to read: "The Auction Manager will administer 
the Auction in accordance with the Auction Rules." The applicants can only rely 
on the written agreement and are not aware of the Auction Manager's "good 
faith" belief about what the rules require or how they should be administered. 
The Auction's Manager's undisclosed good intent should not be the measure of 
whether the rules were followed. 

- Section 7.6 should be revised to provide applicants with reasonable notice of 
amendments to the auction rules. Allowing ICANN to amend the rules "at any time 
prior to the Deposit Deadline" provides too much uncertainty for applicants. If 
the rules are amended, at any time, all auctions should be postponed for a 
thirty (30) day period to allow applicants to review and, if necessary, revise 
their bidding strategies and deposits. The current language allows ICANN to 
change the rules up to the time deposits are made, even on language and rules 
that might impact a bidder's strategy for its deposit amount. A change made the 
day before a deposit deadline might not provide the bidder sufficient time to 
amend its deposit amount.

Uniregistry will continue to monitor the comments submitted in this forum and 
participate in the dialogue inside the NTAG to provide further comments in the 
Reply Period.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the draft auction process and the 
associated contract.

Bret Fausett, Esq. • General Counsel, Uniregistry, Inc. 
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