On 4 June 2014 ICANN through its authorized auction services provider, Power Auctions LLC, completed the first auction to resolve a contention set for a new generic Top-level Domain (gTLD) string. Contention sets are groups of applications for identical or confusingly similar strings.
Two applicants, Afilias Limited and Beijing Tele-info Network Technology Co., LTD. applied for the gTLD 信息, (xn--vuq861b), which is a Chinese Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) for “information” or “info.” These two applicants were unable to resolve the contention set between themselves, and thus proceeded to an auction, which is the method of last resort to resolve string contentions as prescribed in Module 4 of the Applicant Guidebook. Beijing Tele-info Network Technology Co., LTD. prevailed in the auction for the winning price of $600,000. Additional bidding information is available in the auction report [PDF, 225 KB]. Subject to payment of the Winning Price and meeting all other criteria for eligibility, the winner will begin the contracting process to sign a Registry Agreement to operate the 信息, (xn--vuq861b) gTLD.
This was the first auction for the New gTLD program. Subsequent auctions are scheduled [PDF, 306 KB] to occur on a monthly basis throughout 2014 and into early 2015. The auction events are designed to accommodate resolving multiple contention sets simultaneously.
For more information on Auctions visit http://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/auctions.