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Status: Delegated
Registry Provider: Charleston Road Registry Inc.
Type: Generic
Category: Technology
Priority #: 209 - Afilias
744 - Donuts (Lone Maple, LLC)
762 - TRI Ventures, Inc.

781 - Google (Charleston Road Registry Inc.)
918 - Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd.
1256 - Amazon
1459 - Dot App Inc. (MacPaw)
1482 - STRAAT Investments (NU DOT CO LLC)
1566 - Merchant Law Group LLP
1576 - Radix (Webera Inc.)
1799 - Famous Four Media (dot App Limited)

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

The new gTLD .app was delegated to the Root Zone in ICANN's New gTLD Program on 02 July 2015. In an ICANN "Auction of last resort" that took place in February 2015, Google won the rights to the string over 12 other applicants with a winning bid of $25,001,000.[1]

Applicants[edit | edit source]

The winning applicant is:[2]

  1. Google (Charleston Road Registry Inc.), Sarah Falvey, Senior Policy Analyst of Google is listed as contact person. The search engine giant applied for a total of 101 TLDs.[3]

Previous Applicants[edit | edit source]

  1. Dot App LLC, In March 2013, it was announced that the applicant had withdrawn, qualifying for a 70% refund of its $185,000 application fee.[4]
  2. Dot App Inc., a venture from Oleksandr Kosovan's MacPaw Inc.. The application aims to provide an extension intended only for app developers and publishers, and will restrict registration accordingly.[5]
  3. Top Level Domain Holdings, .app is one of 68 applications that the company has filed for on its own behalf.[6] This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.
  4. Radix (Webera Inc.) Brijesh Harish Joshi of is listed as the contact person. Radix applied for 31 TLDs[7]
  5. TRI Ventures, Inc., the contact person is Salil Jayant Darji
  6. Amazon, the company listed Lorna Jean Gradden as contact person
  7. STRAAT Investments (NU DOT CO LLC), The parent company of .co Internet.[8] is the contact person
  8. Donuts (Lone Maple, LLC) applied for 307 TLDs. Daniel Schindler, EVP of Marketing and sales of Donuts is the contact person in the application. This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.
  9. .APP REGISTRY INC., John Kane-VP of Corporate Services of Afilias is the contact person
  10. Famous Four Media (dot App Limited), the company filed for 61 new gTLDs including .app. This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.
  11. Merchant Law Group LLP, Brendon James Ralfe is the company's contact person.
  12. Afilias Limited, John Kane is the contact person.

Developments[edit | edit source]

GAC Early Warning[edit | edit source]

The applications from Google and Amazon were both issued a GAC Early Warning from the representative of Australia and GAC Chair, Heather Dryden. The warning system is noted as a strong recommendation on behalf of national governments to the ICANN Board that a given TLD application should be denied as it stands. Applicants are encouraged to work with objecting GAC members.[9] The warning states that the applicant is "seeking exclusive access to a common generic string .. that relates to a broad market sector," which Ms. Dryden notes could have unintended consequences and a negative impact on competition.[10] A letter from the President of the Association for Competitive Technology echoed the GAC Early Warning, saying Google's application would be bad for competition due to exclusion of access to the string.[11]

Radix received a GAC Early Warning as an entire applicant, where each one of the applicants was flagged by the U.S. Government. This seems to be the only time a portfolio applicant had all of their applications warned. The issue does not deal with the technical capabilities or thematic content of their applications, but rather the inclusion of an email address associated with the US' Federal Bureau of Investigation. It seems that Radix included correspondence with this address as a recommendation with each of their applications.[12]

TLDH & $15mm Auction Funding[edit | edit source]

On February 26 2013, Top Level Domain Holdings Ltd. announced that it had entered into a funding agreement worth $15 million to be used in the case of auction for a specific unnamed TLD. The investor will not receive ownership of the TLD but a share of future revenues. TLDH did not name the TLD that the funds are directed for, and it is in 11 head to head contentions and 12 featuring more than one contender.[13]

ICANN Auction[edit | edit source]

On February 25, 2015, the applicants for .app entered into an ICANN "auction of last resort" to resolve the contention set for the string. The auction format was a step auction as are all ICANN auctions, in which the auctioneer sets a price level for an interval of time and applications choose whether they are in or out. The auction concludes when only one applicant moves to the next price level.[14]

Google won the auction over the other applicants, paying a winning bid of $25,001,000.[15] The proceeds for the auction will go into a separate ICANN fund to be used for a designated purpose. The other applicants for the string must withdraw their applications for .app.[16]

mandatory HTTPS[edit | edit source]

.App is the first TLD to reach GA to make HTTPS mandatory on all websites in the zone by enforcing HSTS compliance. Google maintains a list known as the HSTS Preload List which is honored by Chrome and most other modern browsers. Anyone can submit their site to the list, which tells browsers: “insecure HTTP is disabled for this domain”. Non-HTTPS-protected sites on the list therefore not load at all, rather than the typical fallback behavior of displaying an insecure site. The entire .app zone has been added to the HSTS Preload List.

References[edit | edit source]