New gTLD Auction Bidder Agreement Improved

09 April 2014

ICANN has published an updated version of the Bidder Agreement, which applicants must execute prior to participating in a New gTLD Program Auction. The improvements address concerns raised by the New TLD Applicants Group (NTAG) during ICANN 49 in Singapore. Of primary concern was the indemnification clause (section 4.2) of the Bidder Agreement version 2014.02.26.

View Bidder Agreement v.2014.04.03 now [PDF, 177 KB]

What are the improvements?

Based on discussions with the NTAG, the Bidder Agreement was updated in the following manner:

  • Limits the scope of the indemnity to Power Auctions by the Bidder
  • Requires Power Auctions to provide indemnity back to the Bidder for intellectual property claims related to the Auction systems and website
  • Modifies ICANN's ability to unilaterally change the Auction Rules – "at its sole discretion" has been replaced with "at its sole reasonable discretion."

View the Redline of Changes made to Bidder Agreement 2014.02.26 [PDF, 54 KB]

Additionally the Auction Rules were updated to capture the changes to the Bidder Agreement.

View Auction Rules 2014.04.03 now [PDF, 229 KB]

How does this affect me?

Executing the Bidder's Agreement is required to participate in an Auction. Intent to Auction Notifications were sent to all applicants eligible to participate in an Auction as of 18 March 2014. As a result of changes to the Bidder Agreement, ICANN notified each of the applicants to advise them of the coming changes and to issue a one-time extension to the deadline to respond to the Intent to Auction notification. The extension provides the applicant an additional seven (7) days to complete and return the required materials; the new deadline for those already notified is 23 April 2014.

What are the next steps?

I have received an Intent to Auction Notification:

  • I have previously submitted the Bidder Agreement
    Action: Execute the Bidder Agreement Amendment and submit it to ICANN via a new case in the Customer Portal.
  • I have not yet submitted the Bidder Agreement
    Action: Download the current version of the Bidder Agreement (2014.04.03) from the Customer Portal. Print and execute the Agreement, then follow the instructions in the Portal to submit the forms.

I have not received an Intent to Auction Notification:

No action required. Your contention set is not yet eligible to proceed to an Auction based on the Auction Rules eligibility requirements.

Helpful Reminders

Completing and returning the materials in the Intent to Auction Notification does not prevent members of a contention set from pursuing other means of resolution, so long as applicants and bidders do not violate the Anti-Collusion provisions of Section 2.6 of the Bidder's Agreement.

You must submit the Auction materials by the specified deadline regardless of which Auction your application is slated for, per the Auction Schedule.

Download the Auction Schedule [PDF, 376 KB]


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