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Dreyfus & associes
Change request comment - PART 2/2
Comment Submission Date:11 February 2016 at 19:33:15 UTC
During the last four years, the standard registry agreement terms have evolved and now include the following provisions relevant to Generic String TLD in its Specification 11 – Public Interest Commitments:
- 3.c: “Registry Operator will operate the TLD in a transparent manner consistent with general principles of openness and non-discrimination by establishing, publishing and adhering to clear registration policies.”
- 3.d: “Registry Operator of a “Generic String” TLD may not impose eligibility criteria for registering names in the TLD that limit registrations exclusively to a single person or entity and/or that person’s or entity’s “Affiliates” (as defined in Section 2.9(c) of the Registry Agreement). “Generic String” means a string consisting of a word or term that denominates or describes a general class of goods, services, groups, organizations or things, as opposed to distinguishing a specific brand of goods, services, groups, organizations or things from those of others.”
Such provisions have been requested by the GAC and further carefully drafted by ICANN in order to avoid the establishing of a monopoly on a generic term, a distortion of competition situation or even unfair competition.
M. Akram Attalah confirmed in his letter dated 18 June 2014 the prohibition in imposing eligibility criteria to TLD operators representing “generic strings”, and that “Currently, there is no provision under the New gTLD Program that provides an exemption to Specification 11” (https://www.icann.org/en/system/files/correspondence/atallah-to-menis-18jun14-en.pdf)
The delegation of a generic term describing an economic sector to one single actor (which in addition is not itself a hotel operator but acts as an intermediary between hotels and clients) will lead to establishing a monopoly by excluding the direct and indirect competitors.
This monopoly will produce a distortion of competition between online reservation platforms, will allow Booking.com to choose which hotels or hotel brands will be offered a domain name under .hotels and dictate its commercial conditions to partners and hotel stakeholders.
By submitting this comment, AccorHotels urges ICANN to request Booking.com to modify its “New gTLD Application” in order to ensure a free access to .HOTELS, with no eligibility criteria.
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