Applicant Auction, that offers private auctions for resolving gTLD contention, claims they are getting an increasing number of requests from applicants who want to avoid the ICANN Last Resort auction.
A common question is: What is my last chance to participate in your private auction?
To be able to give a clear answer for this, they are suggesting a schedule for future Applicant Auctions. When a gTLD is scheduled for an ICANN Last Resort auction, the latest possible date to hold a private auction for that string is about a month earlier – and they have reflected that in the suggested schedule.
The reason for holding a private auction at least a month earlier is that they would like to ensure that the settlement process for the auction can finish before the ICANN-imposed deadlines for withdrawals, which is the same as the “deposit deadline”, and 7 days before each ICANN auction.
The dates Applicant Auction proposse are not the only options for auctions – they are happy to hold auctions on other dates applicants agree on, as long as there is enough time to finish the settlement process.
If you would like to participate in a scheduled Applicant Auction, please contact them at least one week before contracts are due for that auction – this means at least 8 weeks before the ICANN Last Resort Auction the gTLD is scheduled for. The latest ICANN schedule will be found here