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Domain Names Forum

Registrar dropping domain extension. How can this be?
All business development of 7 years to be lost

 5:06 pm on Feb 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

I received an email that the alternative domain extension .au.com will cease to function (and exist I think) after Feb of next year.

Our customer business was registered using the alternative domain because the "real" .com.au owner wants such a price as to be considered ransom. (3 - 4 years profit to purchase it)

Well, this company I do business for will essentially be out of business as the whole of the company rests on this domain name. There may even be some legal exposure to me because of it.

I have never heard of a domain extension going down or the need to plan for such a possible disaster... can this really be happening? Can they get away with this?

Opinions please. Perhaps suggestions as to what way to proceed...



 5:36 pm on Feb 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Yikes! Very bad news, sorry to hear this. You have very little redress other than through your contract with the owner of au.com, ICANN's protections only extend to the second level not third level domains.

There may be chance they are looking to sell the name and a company like CentralNic may be considering buying it, as they own qutie a few 2 letter .com's that correspond to countrycodes. (Nevermind any grandfathering rights, and seemless continuance etc.)

The other option is to bite the bullet as quickly as possible and use the remaining time period to redirect also host a page explaining the transition and the fact that after a given date the old url will no longer work. Like this one at www.dailymail.com (Which has 9 days left as of time of posting).


 5:53 pm on Feb 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Well .au.com is not a domain extension. It is a two letter .com domain name. It might be better, as Gpmgroup suggested above, to use the time between now and the shutdown to move to another domain name in a a real extension.



 6:16 pm on Feb 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

>>Well .au.com is not a domain extension.

I see now that is true. Although... The registrars selling them call them domains!


 10:08 pm on Feb 17, 2014 (gmt 0)

Might be wise to set up your redirects to your new domain ASAP in order to facilitate spidering, etc. AS WELL AS to initiate any re-linking requests (with explanation) to the company's new URL.


 9:09 am on Feb 19, 2014 (gmt 0)

These things of course cannot be done due to the nature of the name and its relationship to the business itself, otherwise this would have been done.

Rather, I am afraid for my own and other unsuspecting domain owners ( we have an extensive portfolio of these ) that they are ALL in jeopardy.

This takes the domain system down an unreliable road and so I must go as far as I can to the authorities with the matter.

I am compiling data on all two letter domain names of this type, our own portfolio and its assessed value as so freely given by domain brokers in order to demonstrate the commercial value at stake here.

Then sending my concerns and findings to IANA and ICANN as the overseers for most domains I can only hope for some further clarification and beg action. Also for additional help, to my state Attorney General (where I do business), US Attorney General and Australian Attorney-General for this CURRENT domain extension dissolution as well as all other country Attorneys General involved.

I do likewise believe the Tech media will realize the seriousness of this issue and may help in their way.


 4:41 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

Just had an email from one of the registrars that I use offering .gb.com "domains"!

We know the difference between domains and sub domains but how many small business users who aren't web professionals will understand the distinction? The advertising puff gives the impression that these are full domains like .co.uk


 5:25 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

But it is not a domain extension. Your AG and the US AG and the AU AG may well have no standing or opinion as the contract is between you and the owner of au.com and thus a civil matter. ICANN may also have no opinion on this as it is between the business and the owner of the domain. And as for the tech media, with a few honourable exceptions, it is just a collection of press release recyclers and the complexities of domain name issues would fry their little brains. It might get local coverage but even the new gTLDs are a bit of a damp squib in terms of coverage.

And as for the valuations by domain brokers on non-domain domain names, these may be even more unreliable. You may be better off using a domain broker to try negotiate a deal on the .com.au domain.



 5:26 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)


Also.. This is where it will get interesting... I cannot wait to see if someone has bought or is in negotiation to purchase au.com !

If that is the case my business was offered up to the highest bidder without compensation to me.


 5:41 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

It really will depend on the contract you have with au.com. If they havenít breached that contract, it sounds like they are being pretty reasonable by giving you a years notice and you will almost certainly better off taking to them to try and find out their plans rather than throwing out allegations to uninterested/uninvolved third parties.


 6:11 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

I'm just venting with this thread. Nothing is thought out and I am not an attorney so this all may add up to nothing. I have sent it off for a professional opinion.

This just raises major concerns about my other "two letter" domains that may be affected down the road.

If the representation and selling of these as "domains" is in-fact legal, it stinks.

I'm done now :) ... but I'll post when I get some news if possible. Thanks folks.


 6:25 pm on Feb 20, 2014 (gmt 0)

We know the difference between domains and sub domains but how many small business users who aren't web professionals will understand the distinction? The advertising puff gives the impression that these are full domains like .co.uk

Spot the odd one out

widgets.com widgets.co.com widgets.co widgets.com.co not to be confused with the soon to be released widgets.ecom widgets.corp widgets.company

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