Auctions of Last Resort

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Auctions of Last Resort are described as the final resolution mechanism for contention sets under ICANN's New gTLD Program. Section 4.3 of the Applicant Guidebook states in part:

It is expected that most cases of contention will be resolved by the community priority evaluation, or through voluntary agreement among the involved applicants. Auction is a tie-breaker method for resolving string contention among the applications within a contention set, if the contention has not been resolved by other means.[1]

ICANN auctions are different from private auctions, although either type might use the same basic methodology. One distinguishing factor is that ICANN auctions generate funds for ICANN. A Cross-Community Working Group on New gTLD Auction Proceeds was established to determine what to do with funds raised by auctions of last resort.