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To The CEO Of ICANN Fadi Chehade: Do You Think Vodafone Is The Biggest Domain Hogger?

Posted on the 12 February 2015 by Worldwide @thedomains

Two weeks ago we called out the CEO of ICANN Fadi Chehade, for some remarks he made in a story published by the HuffingtonPost.com to wit:

“The reality is, the more there are names (new gTLD’s),  less people will actually be hogging names in order to charge a lot for them.

Theregister.co.uk then followed up by reporting on the story which included my blog post

At the ICANN meeting this week Fadi was asked about his remarks on Hogging domains and according to Domainincite.com Chehade was given the opportunity to backtrack and he didn’t take it.

(you can watch the press conference here)

The Internet Commerce Association filed a letter with ICANN objecting to the use of the term as it relates to domain investors.

That letter is now publicly posted on ICANN’s site.

ICANN is holding its public forum today and I think its important to ask who Fadi was referring to when he called out “Domain Hoggers who are charging high prices for domains”.

If he was not referring to domain investors, and if he was not referring to new gTLD registries, then who was he referring to?

Well maybe he was talking about public companies such as Vodafone.

After all Vodafone now holds the record for selling the most expensive domain name, 360.com for $17 Million dollars cash.

Logic dictates that to get to a sales price of $17 Million you have to reject offers of $1 million, $5 Million, $10 Million along the way,  and we have a confidential source who says Vodafone turned down $14 Million fairly recently before deciding to accept $17 Million.

For those that don’t know Vodafone is a publicly traded company with a $92 Billion dollar Market Cap.

Asking for a few more million dollars to sell  an asset that is not core to your business when you’re already worth $92 Billion, well some could consider that being a “Hog”.

According to DomainTools.com, Vodafone owns over 43,000 domain names, which is a lot more than many domain investors.

When it comes to a large number of domain name registrations by public companies, Vodafone is far from alone

According to Domaintools, here are the approximate number of domain names the following public companies own:

Google 480,000

Microsoft 190,000

Johnson & Johnson 42,000

Amazon 38,000

Disney 18,000

General Electric 12,000

(Note that both Amazon, Google, Microsoft and Johnson and Johnson applied for new gTLD’s as well given ICANN more funds in applications fees and ongoing fees)

I know that many of the domains registered by public companies are defensive in nature, but still they are major domain holders too.

When CBS Interactive acquired CNET.com years ago they acquired some of the best domain names in the world including Radio.com (which sat for years ago unused), Download.com, Downloads.com, Upload.com, News.com, Search.com, TV.com, MP3.com, Computers.com, Help.com, Shopper.com, Events.com, Chat.com, some of which they have sold over the years.

Talk about a Domain Hogger.


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