ICANN board approves plan to dole out $212 million new TLD windfall

Money will be distributed through a grant program.

Picture of kid with sunglasses and suspenders sitting in black chair holding money
He’s got money for you.

ICANN’s Board of Directors yesterday approved a plan to distribute $212 million in funds from new top level domain auctions.

The board approved a plan to create a separate group within ICANN to manage a grant program to dole out the funds. The grant program will steer money to programs that:

  • Benefit the development, distribution, evolution and structures/projects that support the Internet’s unique identifier systems;
  • Benefit capacity building and underserved populations, or;
  • Benefit the open and interoperable Internet

The money is from auctions ICANN held to determine which companies would get the rights to operate top level domains that had more than one applicant. Applicants could settle their contention sets themselves but were forced to use ICANN’s auctions if they couldn’t figure it out amongst themselves.

The three top auctions were .web for $135 million, .shop for $41.5 million, and .app for $25 million. Note that the .web money could be jeopardized if ICANN’s board determines that the winning bidder was ineligible.

ICANN previously tapped the kitty to fund a shortfall in its reserve fund. Now, it will move to distribute the remainder to organizations that can further ICANN’s mission.

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