The Applicant Auction is a voluntary mechanism for resolving string contention among applicants in ICANN's gTLD program. Our approach is fair, transparent, and efficient.
In the Applicant Auction model, applicants that value the strings the most compensate other applicants for withdrawing their applications.
With this approach, everyone wins. If you don't win your TLD in the auction, you get paid for withdrawing your application. In the ICANN auction, if you don't win the auction, you receive nothing. Read more
A second important benefit of the Applicant Auction is that buyers get their TLDs allocated sooner, enabling them to plan for and invest in its successful launch.
We conducted our first auction in June 2013, and to date have resolved contention for over 70 gTLDs.
ICANN held its first significant "Auction of Last Resort" on September 17th - total revenues for the 3 strings sold were $14.35M. This revenue goes to ICANN, whereas in the Applicant Auction these funds would have been distributed to the rest of the contention set, remaining within the gTLD community.