In a previous analysis of Donuts and Rightside, TLDWatch had included .FAN as a string that remained in contention under Covered Donuts. That was an error because it was never in contention with .FANS, which is owned by Asiamix Digital Limited. In our review of resolved contentions today, we noticed the error of .FAN in our system, and here is what we found:
To begin, we will not discuss the issue(s) of singular vs. plural strings, but in the early stages of the NewgTLD program, it was thought that these types of strings would be in contention because they would be considered confusingly similar. Due to the contention designation in our tracking tool, it went unnoticed until now. As it turns out, .FAN has had a signed Registry Agreement since 6 March 2014. At first, we wondered why it had not been delegated, because that would have been out-of-character for Donuts to have not delegated it immediately. After a closer review, the gTLD had been transferred to United TLD, a Rightside operating company on 18 April 2014. This is not new news, because 18 other strings have been transferred to them as a partnership when they applyed for 107 strings in 2012. But why hadn’t Rightside delegated it yet? As it turns out, the Registry Agreement in what we can only speculate was sold, now shows it transferred to Asiamix Digital Limited as of 7 January 2015.
The gTLD is not yet delegated, but Asiamix’s about page states that “.fans and .fan are two of the new generation of internet addresses launching over the next 24 months…”
Asiamix had also applied for .PIZZA but it withdrew its application with Covered Donuts prevailing behind the scenes before the string would have entered the ICANN auction. Could this exchange had been part of the deal?
Asiamix has now cornered the fan market……at least in regards to the DNS.