WordPress creator Matt Mullenweg said in a blog post that Automattic is the company behind Knock Knock Whois There LLC, that bought .blog domains in an auction last year partnering with a company named Primer Nivel.
I’m excited we won and think that it will be both an amazing business going forward and give lots of folks an opportunity to have a fantastic domain name in a new namespace and with an easy-to-say TLD.
The private ICANN auction for the rights to operate .blog domains ended with Automattic paying about 19 million dollars. Matt Mullenweg thought that the auction could have ended at a much higher price.Automattic says that anyone will be able to purchase a .blog domain at WordPress.com or through the partner domain name registrars. .Blog domains will not be restricted in any way. Anyone will be able to register it, regardless of what kind of site they have or who hosts it. .Blog has not launched yet.
General availability for .blog domain names is expected for Q4 2016, probably in November 2016. Trademark owners will be able to register .blog domains associated with their brands from August 2016. Automattic will have a Landrush phase in October 2016, before .blog becomes available to the public, where domains may be registered on an application basis.
Domain registration prices are still being finalized, but they will be in the standard range for new top-level domains with some premium pricing for higher-value names. The domain names will become available through traditional timeframes such as “sunrise” (the period during which trademark owners can purchase domain names) and “landrush” (the time in which applications can be received prior to general availability).