Greg Thomas penned a post in CircleID today about the process, and potential future outcomes of the rushed O.com auction process. He concludes:
it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that hoping intransigence will result in an outcome other than a full competition review of .com — a long-overdue follow-up to DOJ’s 2012 analysis which has already been requested by U.S. Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee — is putting a lot of shareholder value at risk…….
The point being the auction of O.com, as a door opener for the remaining one character domain names, could be a door opener for opening up other parts of the registry operator agreement. Even if the O.com has some charitable purpose, will the rest that follow?
I submit this could also open a new future with all premium domain names having premium prices, if Verisign gets to pick and choose what to amend in the registry agreement, but keep their monopoly. It would be just like ICANN to take this time of closed meetings and pandemic travel embargos and see an opportunity for major changes without community input, which they seem to disregard anyway in my view.
For a full read, heres the link.
Mr. Thomas paints a possible picture that by trying to amend the registry agreement, with a myopic view of what is good for Verisign, could bring additional scrutiny as to how they maintain their monopoly, (a good story – because of .XXX??). The spotlight could lead to a review of the entire agreement, and ICANN.
Right now the leaders of stopping Verisign on single characters seem to come from the intellectual property rights group. I hope the issue broadens to the more basic issue of governance, respect the prior agreement that single characters were set aside. It shouldn’t be the registry operator who decides what is obsolete, and benefits from prying opening old agreements for their benefit, but not prying open other areas like presumptive renewal which the community could likewise say have run their course.
Mike Berkens wrote in 2014 about the sale of Z.com at almost $7 Million.
Counting the ups and downs in the market, and the current up, and using a 10x on the approximate value for 2 character names of say $1 million, would give you $10 million.
Or with liquid domains setting new highs, could we see 5-10x on the z.com number, thus mid 8 figure proceeds?
Yet there are 676 two letter .com domain names, and only 26 single characters. A scarcity differential would make single characters 26 times more scarce, does that give a single character a $26 million number, plus or minus the premium for “o” against all other singles?
Let me know in the comment where you think an auction for O.com might end up. I’d say $8-20 Million would be a range. Whether or not other 1 characters are coming, or the o.com is a one off would play a part. I think the auction would highlight the value and availability of one character new tlds and commercialized and regular cctlds. Most of those are sold on high annual fee plans.
If you take the trojan horse concept further, any higher than normal annual fee for single characters could portend repricing of all premium .com domain names, a shock to the current system.
Then we could see a system of grandfathered existing premium .coms, and newly issues premium priced .coms, or in a “nuclear” scenario for premium name holders, repricing of existing premium.com domain names on their renewal at some point. So could Verisign in the future take names like Seniors.com or Guy.com, both of which I sold over a million dollars, and reprice them at $100,000 per year for the current registrant.
Interestingly, Wikipedia lists who owns many single character domains in legacy gtlds.
Happy Domain Name investing in 2021.