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.
Wonder what ICANN thinks of private auctions for string resolution?
Akram Atallah, President of ICANN's Global Domains Division 's comment in ICANN's statement announcing the auction results gives some further assurance that ICANN prefers private resolution over extracting funds from the gTLD applicant community:
"The proceeds from these Auctions will be separated and reserved until the Board determines a plan for the appropriate use of the funds through consultation with the community. We continue to encourage parties to reach agreements amongst themselves to resolve contention."
On a more internal note, you may have noticed we haven't been updating our blog for a while. Two reasons. First of all, we've been very busy with recent auctions and were focused on our existing clients. Second, especially some of our newer clients value their privacy highly and we've been respecting that - which means there is less to write about. Our 11th auction concluded successfully this week - and we continue to hold auctions roughly once per month.