David defeats Goliath: .MUSIC goes to DotMusic Ltd


The name of the company that will manage the new gTLD .MUSIC has been announced. Last week several bidders (eight companies were competing for the new gTLD) began to withdraw their applications. This could only mean one thing: a private auction had been held to decide the fate of the domain. Despite the assumptions that one of the heavyweights had won the right to manage .MUSIC − the domain, among others, was claimed by Google and Amazon – to everyone’s surprise, those companies also withdrew their applications by the end of last week.

As a result, by last weekend the last of the applications had been withdrawn, and the winner was officially announced. According to Domain Incite, it was Cyprus-registered DotMusic Ltd. led by Constantinos Roussos. Roussos had made several attempts to prove that his company represented the interests of the entire “global music community,” and therefore should be given the .MUSIC domain without auction. But ICANN rejected his claims, saying there is no such community.

The auctions are held behind closed doors, and the bidders sign a non-disclosure agreement, so the chances of finding out how much DotMusic Ltd. paid for the string are close to zero. In any case, it appears that the amount was high enough that Amazon and Google dropped out. Now domain market experts are wondering who could have financed Roussos and his project, since it is extremely unlikely that DotMusic Ltd.’s own resources could have been enough to win.