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German Hotel Association (IHA)
Change request posted January 12, 2016
Comment Submission Date:11 February 2016 at 08:31:19 UTC
The fact that the application still describes an exclusive operating model can also be seen in many parts of the amended application and includes, but is not limited to, the following:
Section 18. B. I, extract: “the .hotels top-level domain is currently intended to be unambiguous as regards: (…) the affiliation between the Registry Operator and the .hotels gTLD, as well as the domain names registered in such gTLD"
If all domain names registered under .HOTELS are affiliated to Booking.com then that seems to suggest that the TLD will not truly operate on a non-exclusive basis.
Section 18. B. ii., extract: "1. Operate the highly recognizable .hotels gTLD at the top-level of the DNS’ hierarchy, for the benefit of the Applicant and the various stakeholders supported by the Applicant in its current day-to-day activities."
Comment: This is an illustration of the fact that the TLD is still exclusive.
Section 18. B. iii. (ii), extract: "selected third parties that meet certain criteria, which Booking.com will be entitled to set at its own discretion, may register domain names in the .hotels gTLD"
Comment: The application did already refer to third parties who might be eligible to register domain names under .HOTELS so this has not changed with the introduction of so-called "Eligible Trusted Third Parties" without any definition and thus limits the status quo definition even further.
Section 18. C., extract: "At least during the initial months or even years following the delegation of the .hotels gTLD to Booking.com , this extension is likely going to be reserved to Booking.com and Eligible Trusted Third Parties."
Comment: "Initial months or even years", which in essence means for any period of time Booking.com sees fit. Given that Eligible Trusted Third Parties are not defined anywhere, this cannot be considered a genuine commitment to operate .HOTELS on a non-exclusive basis.
Section 18. C., extract: "Protecting and safeguarding the .hotels gTLD, by keeping control over the entire operation of the .hotels registry"
Section 18. C., extract: "Consequently, there will be no (social) costs for non-eligible (third) parties, given the fact that they will be unable to register domain names in the .hotels gTLD in the first place."
Comment: This is unequivocally confirming that the TLD .HOTELS will not be opened to third parties but operated restrictively in the sole interests of the Applicant.
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