The top-level domain name .football has been auctioned off for, what's expected to be, millions of dollars to upstart registry Donuts.
Domain names using the beautiful game's dot-word will be available some time in the new year, along with names ending in .news, .golf, .school and .latino, all of which were snapped in private auctions.
The big winner was Donuts – winning all but .latino, which it hadn't applied for. And the biggest loser – albeit a profitable loser – was Minds + Machines which failed to win any of three auctions it was involved in but did walk away with $4.4m in compensation.
(Money raised in public auctions for new dot-words goes to ICANN. Money raised from private auctions is split between the losers – you'd be forgiven for thinking web registries would rather pay their competitors than the internet's domain-name overseer.)
The exact prices paid for the aforementioned five gTLDs are unknown due to the fact they were privately held, but recent public auctions have seen $2.2m spent for dot-spot addresses, $5.1m for dot-salon at $5.1m and $5.6m for the rights to sell web domains ending with .realty.
The price for .football and .news in particular is expected to be far higher due to their instant awareness and likely global appeal. A recent auction for .book – won by Amazon – was estimated to have reached between $5 and $10m.
On losing all its auctions, Minds + Machines tried to put a brave face on things saying it is "delighted to announce that following the recent series of private auctions, the Company will receive in aggregate $4.4 million for withdrawing its applications." Investors were less excited; its share price fell again by 2.1 per cent to 8.5p per share.
Last month the company said it was "greatly encouraged by the uptake of names" in the internet extensions it has managed to win and launch, but lackluster sales in dot-rodeo, dot-vodka, dot-fishing and dot-horse saw its share price fall 2.5 per cent. ®