On 27-28 August 2016, ICANN conducted an auction for the new gTLD .WEB. After 23 betting rounds, and as announced by [ICANN on 28 August 2016](https://www.icann.org/news/announcement-2-201 6-07-28-en), the successful bidder in the Auction was Nu Dot Co LLC, a totally unknown Registry, for a record of USD 135 mio, against existing Registries such as Donuts, Afilias, etc.
But, quickly after the conclusion of the auction, it has been publicly disclosed that VeriSign, Inc. acquired rights in the Nu Dot Co LLC application for .WEB before the auction and without letting know the other bidders. With the scandal rising in the industry, VeriSign published a press release, dated August 1st 2016, in which it states that VeriSign entered into an agreement with Nu Dot Co LLC wherein the Company provided funds for Nu Dot Co’s bid for the .web TLD.
Other Registries are of course furious, because the TLD .WEB is seen as one of the key TLD, besides the .COM and .NET. VeriSign operates already the latest. With the .WEB, VeriSign will inevitably increase its domination in the Domains industry. What is very shocking in this case is that VeriSign has done the acquisition of the .WEB under the cover of an unknown Registry. While ICANN promotes ‘transparency’, the least it can be said about this operation is that it was especially opaque. And neither consumer not corporates will benefit from this, because VeriSign will inevitably pass the 145 mio to its customers…