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Status: Delegated
Date Implemented: 02 May 2015
Type: Generic
Category: Industry

More information: NTLDStatsLogo.png

.cars is a gTLD delegated in ICANN's New gTLD Program. After a private auction in October 2014, Uniregistry became the only applicant for the string. The company manages the TLD and is its Registry. The proposed application succeeded and was delegated to the Root Zone on 02 May, 2015.[1]

Current Applicant

  1. Uniregistry, Corp.- a new company established by Frank Schilling, a well-known domainer. The company filed applications for 54 new gTLDs.[2]

Previous Applicants

  1. Donuts (Koko Castle, LLC), a start-up registry operator backed by large investors which has applied for 307 new gTLDs.[3] This applicant submitted a Public Interest Commitment, which can be downloaded here.
  2. DERCars, LLC- the contact person for the company is Guy R. Friddell III.


DERCars, LLC's application was 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.[4]

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.[5]

String Confusion Objection

Google filed separate String Confusion Objections against all three applicants of .cars, stating that the string was confusingly similar to Google's application for .car. On 7 August 2013 the ICDR decided one of three objections submitted against .cars, ruling in favor of the applicant, Donuts. The ICANN community initially saw this ruling as setting a precedent that plural-word strings are not confusingly similar to their singular forms.[6] However, later rulings, such as Donuts' application for .pets, showed that no such precedent had been set. This created some controversy within the community.

On August 27, 2013, the Google objection to the DERCars, LLC application was decided, with Google winning and the objection prevailing. It would be the only determination of the 3 objections that Google won, as the objection against Uniregistry failed on October 10, 2013.[7] This ruling meant that DERcars' application for .cars would be in the same contention set as Google's application for .car. Given that Donuts and Uniregistry also applied for .cars (and Google's objections to their applications were overruled), an arguable inconsistency had arisen.[8]

On February 12th 2014, ICANN announced that DERCars and United TLD (Rightside), which lost String Confusion Objection rulings for their .cars and .cam applications respectively, would have the right to appeal the 'inconsistent' rulings against them, and that they were the only parties with the right to do so.[9]

Private Auction

A private auction in October 2014 was won by Uniregistry, which gives the company rights to the string over the other applicants. The two other applicants will withdraw their applications and share the winning bid in return.[10]