Centre for Internet & Society

The Post-Transition IANA promised enhanced transparency and accountability to the global multistakeholder community. The series of events surrounding the .WEB auction earlier this year has stirred up issues relating to the lack of transparency and accountability of ICANN. This post examines the .WEB auction as a case study to better understand exact gaps in accountability.

Chronological Background of the .WEB Auction

In June 2012, ICANN launched a new phase for the creation and operation of Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs). After confirming the eligibility of seven applicants for the rights of the .WEB domain name, ICANN placed them in a string contention set (a group of applications with similar or identical applied for gTLDs).[1]

[Quick Note: ICANN procedure encourages the resolving of this contention set by voluntary settlement amongst the contending applicants (also referred to as a private auction), wherein individual participation fees of US $185,000 go to ICANN and the auction proceeds are distributed among the bidders. If a private auction fails, the provision for a last resort auction conducted by ICANN is invoked - here the total auction proceeds go to ICANN along with the participation fees.[2]]

In June 2016, NuDotCo LLC, a bidder that had previously participated in nine private auctions without any objection, withdrew its consent to the voluntary settlement. Ruby Glen LLC, another bidder, contacted NDC to ask if it would reconsider its withdrawal, and was made aware of changes in NDC’s Board membership, financial position, management and a potential change in ownership, by NDC’s Chief Financial Officer.[3] Concerned about the transparency of the auction process, Ruby Glen requested ICANN to postpone the auction on June 22, in order to investigate the discrepancies between NDC’s official application and its representation to Ruby Glen.[4] The Vice President of ICANN’s gTLD Operations and the independent ICANN Ombudsman led separate investigations, both of which were limited to few e-mails seeking NDC’s confirmation of status quo. On the basis of NDC’s denial of any material changes, ICANN announced that the auction would proceed as planned, as no grounds had been found for its postponement.[5]

On July 27, NDC’s winning bid – USD 135 million – beat the previous record by $90 million, doubling ICANN’s total net proceeds from the past fifteen auctions it had conducted.[6] Soon after NDC’s win, Verisign, Inc., the market giant that owns the .com and .net domain names, issued a public statement that it had used NDC as a front for the auction, and that it had been involved in its funding from the very beginning. Verisign agreed to transfer USD 130 million to NDC, allowing the latter to retain a $5 million stake in .WEB.[7]

Ruby Glen LLC filed for an injunction against the transfer of .WEB rights to NDC, and sought expedited discovery[8] against ICANN and NDC in order to gather evidentiary support for the temporary restraining order.[9] Donuts Inc., the parent company of Ruby Glen, simultaneously filed for recovery of economic loss due to negligence, fraud and breach of bylaws among other grounds, and Affilias, the second highest bidder, demanded that the .WEB rights be handed over by ICANN.[10] Furthermore, at ICANN57, Affilias publicly brought up the issue in front of ICANN’s Board, and Verisign followed with a rebuttal. However, ICANN’s Board refused to comment on the issue at that point as the matter was still engaged in ongoing litigation.[11]

Issues Regarding ICANN’s Assurance of Accountability

The Post-Transition IANA promised enhanced transparency and accountability to the global multistakeholder community.  The  series of events surrounding the .WEB auction has stirred up issues relating to the lack of transparency and accountability of ICANN.  ICANN’s arbitrary enforcement of policies that should have been mandatory, with regard to internal accountability mechanisms, fiduciary responsibilities and the promotion of competition, has violated Bylaws that obligate it to operate ‘consistently, neutrally, objectively, and fairly, without singling out any particular party for discriminatory treatment’.[12]

Though the US court ruled in favour of ICANN, the discrepancies that were made visible with regard to ICANN’s differing emphasis on procedural and substantive compliance with its rules and regulations, have forced the community to acknowledge that corporate strategies, latent interests and financial advantages undermine ICANN’s commitment to accountability. The approval of NDC’s ridiculously high bid with minimal investigation or hesitation, even after Verisign’s takeover, signifies pressing concerns that stand in the way of a convincing commitment to accountability, such as:

  1. The Lack of Substantive Fairness and Accountability at ICANN (A Superficial Investigation)
  2. ICANN’s Sketchy Tryst with Legal Conformity
  3. The Financial Accountability of ICANN’s Auction Proceeds
  1. The Lack of Substantive Fairness and Accountability in its Screening Processes:

Ruby Glen’s claim that ICANN conducted a cursory investigation of NDC’s misleading and unethical behaviour brought to light the ease and arbitrariness with which applications are deemed valid and eligible.

  • Disclosure of Significant Details Unique to Applicant Profiles: In the initial stage, applications for the gTLD auctions require disclosure of background information such as proof of legal establishment, financial statements, primary and secondary contacts to represent the company, officers, directors, partners, major shareholders, etc. At this stage, TAS User Registration IDs, which require VAT/tax/business IDs, principal business address, phone, fax, etc. of the applicants, are created to build unique profiles for different parties in an auction.[13] Any important change in an applicant’s details would thus significantly alter the unique profile, leading to uncertainty regarding the parties involved and the validity of transactions undertaken. NDC’s application clearly didn’t meet the requirements here, as its financial statements, secondary contact, board members and ownership all changed at some point before the auction took place (either prior to or post submission of the application).[14]
  • Mandatory Declaration of Third Party Funding: Applications presupposing a future joint venture or any organisational unpredictability are not deemed eligible by ICANN, and if any third party is involved in the funding of the applicant, the latter is to provide evidence of such commitment to funding at the time of submission of its financial documents.[15] Verisign’s public announcement that it was involved in NDC’s funding from the very beginning (well before the auction) and its management later, proves that NDC’s failure to notify ICANN made its application ineligible, or irregular at the very least.[16]
  • Vague Consequences of Failure to Notify ICANN of Changes: If in any situation, certain material changes occur in the composition of the management, ownership or financial position of the applicant, ICANN is liable to be notified of the changes by the submission of updated documents. Here, however, the applicant may be subjected to re-evaluation if a material change is concerned, at ICANN’s will (there is no mention of what a material change might be). In the event of failure to notify ICANN of changes that would lead the previous information submitted to be false or misleading, ICANN may reject or deny the application concerned.[17] NDC’s absolute and repeated denial of any changes, during the extremely brief e-mail ‘investigation’ conducted by ICANN and the Ombudsman, show that at no point was NDC planning on revealing its intimacy with Verisign. No extended evaluation was conducted by ICANN at any point.[18] Note: The arbitrary power allowed here and the vague use of the term ‘material’ obstruct any real accountability on ICANN’s part to ensure that checks are carried out to discourage dishonest behaviour, at all stages.
  • Arbitrary Enforcement of Background Checks: In order to confirm the eligibility of all applicants, ICANN conducts background screening during its initial evaluation process to verify the information disclosed, at the individual and entity levels.[19] The applicants may be asked to produce any and all documents/evidence to help ICANN complete this successfully, and any relevant information received from ‘any source’ may be taken into account here. However, this screening is conducted only with regard to two criteria: general business diligence and criminal history, and any record of cybersquatting behaviour.[20] In this case, ICANN’s background screening was clearly not thorough, in light of Verisign’s confirmed involvement since the beginning, and at no point was NDC asked to submit any extra documents (apart from the exchange of e-mails between NDC and ICANN and its Ombudsman) to enable ICANN’s inquiry into its business diligence.[21] Further, ICANN also said that it was not required to conduct background checks or a screening process, as the provisions only mention that ICANN is allowed to do so, when it feels the need.[22] This ludicrous loophole hinders transparency efforts by giving ICANN the authority to ignore any questionable details in applications it desires to deem eligible, based on its own strategic leanings, advantageous circumstances or any other beneficial interests.

ICANN’s deliberate avoidance of discussing or investigating the ‘allegations’ against NDC (that were eventually proved true), as well as a visible compromise in fairness and equity of the application process point to the conclusion it desired.

ICANN’s Sketchy Tryst with Legal Conformity:

ICANN’s lack of substantive compliance, with California’s laws and its own rules and regulations, leave us with the realisation that efforts towards transparency, enforcement and compliance  (even with emphasis on the IANA Stewardship and Accountability Process) barely meet the procedural minimum.

  • Rejection of Request for Postponement of Auction: ICANN’s intent to ‘initiate the Auction process once the composition of the set is stabilised’ implies that there must be no pending accountability mechanisms with regard to any applicant.[23] When ICANN itself determines the opening and closing of investigations or reviews concerning applicants, arbitrariness on ICANN’s part in deciding on which date the mechanisms are to be deemed as pending, may affect an applicant’s claim about procedural irregularity. In this case, ICANN had already scheduled the auction for July 27, 2016, before Ruby Glen sent in a request for postponement of the auction and inquiry into NDC’s eligibility on June 22, 2016.[24] Even though the ongoing accountability mechanisms had begun after initiation of the auction process, ICANN confirmed the continuance of the process without assurance about the stability of the contention set as required by procedure. Ruby Glen’s claim about this violation in auction rules was dismissed by ICANN on the basis that there must be no pending accountability mechanisms at the time of scheduling of the auction.[25] This means that if any objection is raised or any dispute resolution or accountability mechanism is initiated with regard to an applicant, at any point after fixing the date of the auction, the auction process continues even though the contention set may not be stabilised. This line of defence made by ICANN is not in conformity with the purpose behind the wording of its auction procedure as discussed above.
  • Lack of Adequate Participation in the Discovery Planning Process: In order to gather evidentiary support and start the discovery process for the passing of the injunction, ICANN was required to engage with Ruby Glen in a conference, under Federal law. However, due to a disagreement as to the extent of participation required from both parties involved in the process, ICANN recorded only a single appearance at court, after which it refused to engage with Ruby Glen.[26] ICANN should have conducted a thorough investigation, based on both NDC’s and Verisign’s public statements, and engaged more cooperatively in the conference, to comply substantively with its internal procedure as well jurisdictional obligations. Under ICANN’s Bylaws, it is to ensure that an applicant does not assign its rights or obligations in connection with the application to another party, as NDC did, in order to promote a competitive market and ensure certainty in transactions.[27] However, due to its lack of substantive compliance with due procedure, such bylaws have been rendered weak.
  • Demand to Dismiss Ruby Glen’s Complaint: ICANN demanded the dismissal of Ruby Glen’s complaint on the basis that the complaint was vague and unsubstantiated.[28] After the auction, Ruby Glen’s allegations and suspicions about NDC’s dishonest behaviour were confirmed publicly by Verisign, making the above demand for dismissal of the complaint ridiculous.
  • Inapplicability of ICANN’s Bylaws to its Contractual Relationships: ICANN maintained that its bylaws are not part of application documents or contracts with applicants (as it is a not-for-profit public benefit corporation), and that ICANN’s liability, with respect to a breach of ICANN’s foundational documents, extends only to officers, directors, members, etc.[29] In addition, it said that Ruby Glen had not included any facts that suggested a duty of care arose from the contractual relationship with Ruby Glen and Donuts Inc.[30] Its dismissal of and considerable disregard for fiduciary obligations like duty of care and duty of inquiry in contractual relationships, prove the contravention of promised commitments and core values (integral to its entire accountability process), which are to ‘apply in the broadest possible range of circumstances’.[31]
  • ICANN’s Legal Waiver and Public Policy: Ruby Glen had submitted that, under the California Civil Code 1668, a covenant not to sue was against policy, and that the legal waiver all applicants were made to sign in the application was unenforceable.[32] This waiver releases ICANN from ‘any claims arising out of, or related to, any action or failure to act’, and the complaint claimed that such an agreement ‘not to challenge ICANN in court, irrevocably waiving the right to sue on basis of any legal claim’ was unconscionable.[33] However, ICANN defended the enforceability of the legal waiver, saying that only a covenant not to sue that is specifically designed to avoid responsibility for own fraud or willful injury is invalidated under the provisions of the California Civil Code.[34] A waiver, incorporating the availability of accountability mechanisms ‘within ICANN’s bylaws to challenge any final decision of ICANN’s with respect to an application’, was argued as completely valid under California’s laws. It must be kept in mind that challenges to ICANN’s final decisions can make headway only through its own accountability mechanisms (including the Reconsideration Requests Process, the Independent Review Panel and the Ombudsman), which are mostly conducted by, accountable to and applicable at the discretion of the Board.[35] This means that the only recourse for dissatisfied applicants is through processes managed by ICANN, leaving no scope for independence and impartiality in the review or inquiry concerned, as the .WEB case has shown.
  • Note: ICANN has also previously argued that its waivers are not restricted by S. 1668 because the parties involved are sophisticated - without an element of oppression, and that these transactions don’t involve public interest as ICANN doesn’t provide necessary services such as health, transportation, etc.[36] Such line of argument shows its continuous refusal to acknowledge responsibility for ensuring access to an essential good, in a diverse community, justifying concerns about ICANN’s commitment to accessibility and human rights.

Required to remain accountable to the stakeholders of the community through mechanisms listed in its Bylaws, ICANN’s repeated difficulty in ensuring these mechanisms adhere to the purpose behind jurisdictional regulations confirm hindrances to impartiality, independence and effectiveness.

The Financial Accountability of ICANN’s Auction Proceeds:

The use and distribution of significant auction proceeds accruing to ICANN have been identified by the internet community as issues central to financial transparency, especially in a future of increasing instances of contention sets.

  • Private Inurement Prohibition and Legal Requirements of Tax-Exempted Organisations: Subject to California’s state laws as well as federal laws, tax exemptions and tax-deductible charitable donations (available to not-for-profit public benefit corporations) are dependent on the fulfillment of jurisdictional obligations by ICANN, including avoiding contracts that may result in excessive economic benefit to a party involved, or lead to any deviation from purely charitable and scientific purposes.[37] ICANN’s Articles require that it ‘shall pursue the charitable and public purposes of lessening the burdens of government and promoting the global public interest in the operational stability of the Internet’.[38] Due to this, ICANN’s accumulation of around USD 60 million (the total net proceeds from over 14 contention sets) since 2014 has been treated with unease, making it impossible to ignore the exponential increase in the same after the .WEB controversy.[39] With its dedication to a bottom-up, multi-stakeholder policy development process, the use of a single and ambiguous footnote, in ICANN’s Guidebook, to tackle the complications involving significant funds that accrue from last resort auctions (without even mentioning the arbiters of their ‘appropriate’ use) is grossly insufficient.[40]
  • Need for Careful and Inclusive Deliberation Over the Use of Auction Proceeds: At the end of the fiscal year 2016, ICANN’s balance sheet showed a total of USD 399.6 million. However, the .WEB sale amount was not included in this figure, as the auction happened after the last date (June 30, 2016).[41] Around seven times the average winning bid, a USD 135 million hike in ICANN’s accounts shows the need for greater scrutiny on ICANN’s process of allocation and distribution of these auction proceeds.[42] While finding an ‘appropriate purpose’ for these funds, it is important that ICANN’s legal nature under US jurisdiction as well as its vision, mission and commitments be adhered to, in order to help increase public confidence and financial transparency.
  • The CCWG Charter on New gTLD Auction Proceeds: ICANN has always maintained that it recognised the concern of ‘significant funds accruing as a result of several auctions’ at the outset.[43] In March 2015, the GNSO brought up issues relating to the distribution of auction proceeds at ICANN52, to address growing concerns of the community.[44] A Charter was then drafted, proposing the formation of a Cross-Community Working Group on New gTLD Auction Proceeds, to help ICANN’s Board in allocating these funds.[45] After being discussed in detail at ICANN56, the draft charter was forwarded to the various supporting organisations for comments.[46] The Charter received no objections from 2 organisations and was adopted by the ALAC, ASO, ccNSO and GNSO, following which members and co-chairs were identified from the organisations to constitute the CCWG.[47] It was decided that while ICANN’s Board will have final responsibility in disbursement of the proceeds, the CCWG will be responsible for the submission of proposals regarding the mechanism for the allocation of funds, keeping ICANN’s fiduciary and legal obligations in mind.[48] While creating proposals, the CCWG must recommend how to avoid possible conflicts of interest, maintain ICANN’s tax-exempt status, and ensure diversity and inclusivity in the entire process.[49] It is important to note that the CCWG cannot make recommendations ‘regarding which organisations are to be funded or not’, but is to merely submit a proposal for the process by which allocation is undertaken.[50] ICANN’s Guidebook mentions possible uses for proceeds, such as ‘grants to support new gTLD applications or registry operators from communities’, the creation of a fund for ‘specific projects for the benefit of the Internet community’, the ‘establishment of a security fund to expand use of secure protocols’, among others, to be decided by the Board.[51]
  • A Slow Process and the Need for More Official Updates: The lack of sufficient communication/updates about any allocation or the process behind such, in light of ICANN’s current total net auction proceeds of USD 233,455,563, speaks of an urgent need for a decision by the Board (based on a recommendation by CCWG), regarding a timeframe for the allocation of such proceeds.[52] However, the entire process has been very slow, with the first CCWG meeting on auction proceeds scheduled for 26 January 2016, and the lists of members and observers being made public only recently.[53] Here, even parties interested in applying for the same funds at a later stage are allowed to participate in meetings, as long as they include such information in a Statement of Interest and Declaration of Intention, to satisfy CCWG’s efforts towards transparency and accountability.[54]

The worrying consequences of ICANN’s lack of financial as well as legal accountability (especially in light of its controversies), reminds us of the need for constant reassessment of its commitment to substantive transparency, enforcement and compliance with its rules and regulations. Its current obsessive courtship with only procedural regularity must not be mistaken for a greater commitment to accountability, as assured by the post-transition IANA.

[1] DECLARATION OF CHRISTINE WILLETT IN SUPPORT OF ICANN’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, 2. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-declaration-willett-25jul16-en.pdf)

[2] 4.3, gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 4-19. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)

[3] NOTICE OF AND EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF, 15. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-ex-parte-application-tro-memo-points-authorities-22jul16-en.pdf)

[4] NOTICE OF AND EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF, 15. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-ex-parte-application-tro-memo-points-authorities-22jul16-en.pdf)

[5] DECLARATION OF CHRISTINE WILLETT IN SUPPORT OF ICANN’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, 4-7. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-declaration-willett-25jul16-en.pdf)




[8] An expedited discovery request can provide the required evidentiary support needed to meet the Plaintiff’s burden to obtain a preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order. (http://apps.americanbar.org/litigation/committees/businesstorts/articles/winter2014-0227-using-expedited-discovery-with-preliminary-injunction-motions.html)

[9] NOTICE OF AND EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF, 2. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-ex-parte-application-tro-memo-points-authorities-22jul16-en.pdf)

[10] (http://domainincite.com/20789-donuts-files-10-million-lawsuit-to-stop-web-auction); (https://www.thedomains.com/2016/08/15/afilias-asks-icann-to-disqualify-nu-dot-cos-135-million-winning-bid-for-web/)

[11] (http://www.domainmondo.com/2016/11/news-review-icann57-hyderabad-india.html)

[12] Art III, Bylaws of Public Technical Identifiers, ICANN. (https://pti.icann.org/bylaws)

[13], gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 1-39.(https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)

[14] NOTICE OF AND EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF, 15. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-ex-parte-application-tro-memo-points-authorities-22jul16-en.pdf)

[15] 1.2.1; 1.2.2, gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 1-21. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)


[17] 1.2.7, gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 1-30. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)

[18] DECLARATION OF CHRISTINE WILLETT IN SUPPORT OF ICANN’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, 4. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-declaration-willett-25jul16-en.pdf)

[19], gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 1-8. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)

[20] 1.2.1, gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 1-21. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)

[21] DECLARATION OF CHRISTINE WILLETT IN SUPPORT OF ICANN’S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFF’S EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, 7. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-declaration-willett-25jul16-en.pdf)

[22] 6.8; 6.11, gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 6-5 (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb);


[23], gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)

[24] NOTICE OF AND EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF, 15. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-ex-parte-application-tro-memo-points-authorities-22jul16-en.pdf)


[26] 26(f); 65, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (https://www.federalrulesofcivilprocedure.org/frcp/title-viii-provisional-and-final-remedies/rule-65-injunctions-and-restraining-orders/); (https://www.federalrulesofcivilprocedure.org/frcp/title-v-disclosures-and-discovery/rule-26-duty-to-disclose-general-provisions-governing-discovery/)

[27] 6.10, gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 6-6. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb); (https://www.icann.org/resources/reviews/specific-reviews/cct)





[31] (https://archive.icann.org/en/accountability/frameworks-principles/legal-corporate.htm); Art. 1(c), Bylaws for ICANN. (https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/governance/bylaws-en)

[32] (http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displaySection.xhtml?lawCode=CIV&sectionNum=1668); NOTICE OF AND EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER: MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT THEREOF, 24. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-ruby-glen-ex-parte-application-tro-memo-points-authorities-22jul16-en.pdf)

[33] 6.6, gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 6-4. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)


[35] (https://www.icann.org/resources/pages/mechanisms-2014-03-20-en)

[36] AMENDED REPLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF ICANN’S MOTION TO DISMISS FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT, 4. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/litigation-dca-reply-memo-support-icann-motion-dismiss-first-amended-complaint-14apr16-en.pdf)

[37] 501(c)(3), Internal Revenue Code, USA. (https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/charitable-organizations/exemption-requirements-section-501-c-3-organizations)

[38] Art. II, Public Technical Identifiers, Articles of Incorporation, ICANN. (https://pti.icann.org/articles-of-incorporation)


[40] (https://www.icann.org/policy); 4.3, gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 4-19. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)

[41]5, Internet Corporation for ASsigned Names and Numbers, Fiscal Statements As of and for the Years Ended June 30, 2016 and 2015. (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/files/financial-report-fye-30jun16-en.pdf);


[42] (http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/28/someone_paid_135m_for_dot_web)


[44] (https://www.icann.org/public-comments/new-gtld-auction-proceeds-2015-09-08-en)

[45] (https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2-2016-12-13-en)

[46] (https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2-2016-12-13-en)



[48] (https://ccnso.icann.org/workinggroups/ccwg-charter-07nov16-en.pdf); (https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2-2016-12-13-en)

[49] (https://www.icann.org/public-comments/new-gtld-auction-proceeds-2015-09-08-en)

[50] (https://community.icann.org/display/CWGONGAP/CCWG+Charter)

[51] 4.3, gTLD Applicant Guidebook ICANN, 4-19. (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/agb)

[52] (https://newgtlds.icann.org/en/applicants/auctions/proceeds)

[53] (https://community.icann.org/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=63150102)

[54] (https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2-2016-12-13-en)

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