Bid prices have routinely crossed over the six-figure threshhold and even into the seven-figures in the NIC.ru auction of the new .РФ (“.RF” in English) Russian ccTLD.
The current bid status of a sampling of high-flying auctions is as follows:
квартиры.рф / $10,000,000 / “Apartments”
вода.рф / $1,222,220 / “Water”
телефон.рф / $450,010 / “Phone”
бизнес.рф / $330,060 / “Business”
автомобили.рф / $319,997 / “Cars”
золото.рф / $300,015 / “Gold”
игры.рф / $269,996 / “Games”
билеты.рф/$200,020 / “Tickets”
цветы.рф/$110,050 / “Flowers”
рестораны.рф / $110,001 / “Restaurants”
автомобиль.рф / $100,150 / “Car”
отели.рф / $100,051 / “Hotels”
отель.рф / $100,005 / “Hotel”
It is a bit curious that during the registry’s open registration period the registrar NIC.ru secured nearly half of initially registered .РФ names. Where there were multiple NIC.ru customers who preregistered a name, NIC.ru held an auction (as shown above). The .РФ registry publically vented its frustration with Nic.ru’s auction process stating that the auction process encouraged cybersquatting.
Moreover, according to today’s Moscow News, NIC.ru is also under investigation by the “Federal Anti-Monopoly Service (FAS) [which] launched legal action against six registrars from the agency, claiming they had broken competition laws” by unlawfully collaborating with NIC.ru in securing names.
As NIC.ru has been ordered to stop auctions, and has proceeded with them it is unclear what will happen next. Hopefully, innocent auction participants will not have their names seized or frozen as they have committed no wrongdoing. Instead, if the allegations are true, the registrar alone should be penalized for its transgressions via a monetary penalty.
Unfortunately, a fantastically successful IDN ccTLD launch has been clouded by the above allegations and other questionable activities.
Kudos to DomainIncite.com for excellent initial coverage of the scandal and potential domain freeze here.
Nov 24, 2010 8 Comments