ICANN challenges its award of .WEB top-level domain in Independent Review Process
Clients INTERNET CORP. FOR ASSIGNED NAMES & NUMBERS (ICANN)
Jones Day represented ICANN in an Independent Review Process (IRP) under the ICDR Rules and ICANN’s Supplementary Rules and Bylaws, relating to its conduct of an ICANN administered auction and subsequent award of the .WEB top-level domain to New Dotco LLC (NDC) for $135 million. A disappointed bidder, Afilias Domains No. 3 initiated the IRP challenging that award and demanding that NDC’s bid be disqualified and that ICANN be ordered to award .WEB to Afilias. The arbitration proceeded through multiple phases, including an extensive evidentiary hearing held virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, following which the IRP panel issued a Final Declaration rejecting Afilias’s demands for relief and recognizing that ICANN’s Board had exclusive authority to consider the matters raised by Afilias in the IRP.