ICANN has updated the Auction Schedule for New gTLD applicants with strings in contention sets. The schedule now lists the participants confirmed for the first Auction on 4 June 2014, and the rescheduling of some sets based on requested postponements.
When Applicants were issued Intent to Auction notifications, they were given an option to postpone the Auction under one of the following circumstances:
All members of the contention set request the Auction be postponed
Any applicant in a contention set requests deferment of the Auction until the Name Collision Occurrence Management Framework (the Framework) has been finalized.
Postponements granted as a result of unanimous agreement among all members of the contention set have resulted in deferral of two auctions. The updated schedule postponements requested based on the Framework have only been granted for those sets previously scheduled for the first Auction: those contention sets that requested a postponement for this reason from the first Auction have been moved to the second Auction. Should the Framework not be finalized by the confirmation deadline (21 days prior to an Auction) for the second auction, additional deferrals will be issued. In the updated schedule those contention sets marked with an asterisk (*) have been granted postponements.
The two applicants confirmed for the first Auction have received their confirmations from ICANN. Applicants will receive a notification from ICANN confirming their Auction date at least 21 days prior to the Auction. As Auctions are the method of last resort, Applicants may self-resolve a contention set up to 7 days prior to the Auction.
Auction Date Advancement
Additionally, ICANN is introducing the opportunity for applicants to request that their Auction be advanced – scheduled for a date earlier than originally scheduled. Similar to a request for postponement, an advancement of the auction date requires all members of the contention set to submit the request. To request advancement, the Application's primary contact must submit the Advancement Request form [PDF, 216 KB] via a case in the Customer Portal at least 45 calendar days prior to the new desired Auction date.
ICANN has issued a new version of the Auction Rules [PDF, 291 KB] to address several potential issues. One of the more notable changes addresses the eligibility requirements for participating in Auctions. In an effort to prevent any undue disruptions to the Auction Schedule, the following condition has been removed from the eligibility requirements in paragraph 8:
d) Finalized any and all change requests
Because all applications that are in contention sets have passed Evaluation, ICANN believes that in most cases, there is no reason to delay an Auction merely because a change request has been filed, and that the evaluation and processing of the change request generally should proceed independently and in parallel with the Auction timeline. ICANN reserves the right not to send Intent to Auction notices and/or not to proceed with an Auction if a change request by one or more applicants in the Contention Set is pending, but believes that in most instances the Auction should proceed without further delay.
Auctions Bidder Training
Finally, ICANN is pleased to announce the availability of new Bidder Training materials. Power Auctions has prepared three brief training videos to help Bidders prepare for an Auction including videos covering account set-up prior to an Auction, the Auction process, and Post Auction activities. The Videos are posted on the video tutorial page, and are also available via the Auctions landing page.
For more information, please visit the Auctions webpage.