18(c) What operating rules will you adopt to eliminate or minimize social costs?

Prototypical answer:

gTLDFull Legal NameDetail
.cashbackbonusDiscover Financial ServicesView

18(c) Operating Rules

18(c).1 Rules to Eliminate⁄Minimize Social Costs

Over the past decade, ICANN has approved numerous new gTLDs, which have historically been classified as either generic (.info, .biz, .name) or sponsored (.asia, coop, .travel, .jobs, etc.) gTLDs. It is anticipated that in this current new gTLD application round, many large international corporations will take the opportunity to register generic strings as top-level domains. This is a new approach to the operation of a gTLD, and the business plan relies on three important distinctions between it and the gTLDs that were approved in the 2001 and 2004 rounds of expansion.

First, there are now approximately ten small gTLDs that have fewer than 300,000 registrations and that offer clear models of successful operation; second, at least three experienced technical backend suppliers (i.e., SRS⁄DNS services) are in place; and third, with many new gTLDs, well-understood registry operations will be fully supported by an established and financially sound business operating a gTLD in addition to and as an extension of its primary business.

Against this backdrop, the present .cashbackbonus gTLD minimizes the risk and uncertainty of prior gTLDs by drawing upon more than a decade of gTLD industry development and by relying upon the established online track record of Discover. Discover believes that the safeguards set forth in the Applicant Guidebook and RPMs identified in Section 18(b) are primary drivers to minimize potential negative social costs. Moreover, Discover intends to operate a closed single-registrant registry, which will ensure that only Discover or its affiliates are entrusted to register second-level domain names. This operating rule to prevent all third party registration will help to establish this trusted online environment for consumers to access authoritative online content directly from Discover or its affiliates, and by default, will minimize social costs. This verified ecosystem also will provide consumers with a single, trusted source for Discover’s products, services, and information with a substantially lower risk of fraud and⁄or malicious third party conduct.

18(c).2 Other Steps to Minimize Negative Consequences

Discover believes that the proposed operation of the closed .cashbackbonus gTLD as set forth in this application has minimum known negative consequences or cost implications to consumers. To the contrary, the proposed operation of this registry will likely lead to direct and quantifiable benefits to consumers.

Due to the closed single-registrant nature of the .cashbackbonus gTLD, there will be no cybersquatting or other malicious behavior in the gTLD, as registration will be limited to Discover and its affiliates. Following the core business ethics Discover has established over its nearly 30 years of operations, including a robust intellectual property program, it will be able to provide real value to consumers, and minimize any potential negative consequences and costs.

Similarly, as the operator of a closed single-registrant registry, Discover does not envision multiple applicants for the same second-level domain name. However, if such instances should arise in the future, Discover believes that a phased equitable allocation approach modeled after those that ICANN has previously approved in connection with numerous ICANN Registry Service Evaluation Process (“RSEP”) requests would be the most prudent path forward, e.g., RFP, auction, and then first-come, first-serve.

Finally, Discover does not envision any advantageous pricing, introductory discounts or bulk registration discounts because these marketing⁄commercial initiatives are inconsistent with the mission and purpose of the closed .cashbackbonus gTLD as a secure online marketplace and trusted online source identifier.

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