ICANN Board Asks .web Parties to Restate Arguments – Domain Name Wire

The board wants .web participants to make their case…again.

ICANN’s Board Accountability Mechanisms Committee (BAMC) is about to decide the fate of .web. But first, he wants everyone involved to repeat what happened.

The quick backstory: A company called Nu Dot Co won the bid to run the .web top-level domain for $135 million. Verisign (NASDAQ: VRSN) reached an agreement with Nu Dot Co before the auction in which it would fund the auction and then Nu Dot Co would assign the name to Verisign. Afilias (now Altanovo Domains) was the second highest bidder and complained about the deal. He finally asked for an independent review. The review board referred the matter to ICANN, informing it that it needed to determine whether Nu Dot Co’s agreement with Verisign violated the new TLD rules.

This is where the problem lies today: ICANN must determine whether the agreement was in accordance with the rules or not. The board passed a resolution on this at a meeting in January and is gathering data to make a decision.

Now BAMC wants Nu Dot Co/Verisign and Altanovo to do their respective business Again. He says (pdf) that he will throw away all of the independent review and other correspondence on the matter and rely solely on what the parties submit.

He asks each party to submit up to 75 pages on the subject. They will also be able to make a response submission of up to 30 pages.

This can make the BAMC feel like it is running its own independent review process, and I bet it’s frustrating for all parties involved (except the lawyers). I’m sure they expected the Board to make a decision based on the extensive documentation already used in the IRP.

It also means that we are far from a decision. Submissions are due July 15 and responding submissions are due August 15. So maybe we’ll have an answer this fall.