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Domain name sales dip no surprise

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The number of internet domain names being bought and sold has dropped off in just the second month since a rule change that allowed them to be openly trading was introduced.

The number of internet domain names being bought and sold has dropped off in just the second month since a rule change that allowed them to be openly trading was introduced.

Close to 500 domain names were directly bought and sold in the month after the new rules took affect on 1 June, but that number dropped to around 350 in July.

But Chris Disspain, the chief executive of Australian domain name administrator auDA, says the second month lull in trades did not come out of the blue.

“I wasn’t surprised – I would have expected there to be a number of transfers that were waiting for the rule change, which probably explains why we saw the higher June figure come back a bit in July; but in the general scheme of things that sounds about right,” Disspain says.

While there is considerable uncertainty about how much activity there will be in the new market for domain names, Disspain speculates the level of buying and selling is likely to remain fairly subdued.

“One imagines this will settle down to a trickle, apart from the odd spike if an individual offloads a whole portfolio of names, because domains won’t continually change names,” Disspain says.

AuDA has no plans to publish monthly sales figures at this stage, and does not have the power to require buyers and sellers to reveal how much domain names change hands for.

Disspain makes the point that while the rules have changed to allow domain name trading, auDA is currently not trying or able to act as a market operator akin to the ASX – for now.

“There were arguments that perhaps we should run a market. I suppose if we thought things were going out of hand we might propose to do so, but at this stage everything looks fine.”

The global expansion of the market for domain names and registry services has led Melbourne based business AusRegistry Group to expand its operations to the United Arab Emirates.

Subsidiary AusRegistry International has been selected by UAE regulators to help provide a technological, administrative and policy framework for the .ae domain and to provide registry services.

“We believe the Registry System deployed is best of breed and will ensure a robust and stable .ae namespace and previously unrealised levels of service, ” AusRegistry International chief executive Adrian Kinderis says.

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