The “.Travel” Travesty

By on January 16, 2008

On December 21st the .TRAVEL top level domain was opened to the global public. The price of each registration starts at $99 per domain name per year.

Tralliance Corporation entered an agreement with ICANN to manage the .TRAVEL TLD in May of 2005. Tralliance Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of theglobe.com, Inc.

According to this report filed to the Securities & Exchange Commission, Labigroup (Who is owned by Michael Egan, CEO of .Travel) has agreed with theglobe.com, Inc. to buy 25,000 .TRAVEL domain names within the period of one year.

On December 20, 2007, the Company, through its subsidiary, Tralliance Corporation (“Tralliance”), entered into a Bulk Registration Co-Marketing Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Labigroup, under Tralliance’s Bulk Purchasing Program available to entities committing to a minimum purchase of 25,000 “.travel” domain names within one-year. Labigroup is controlled by the Company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Egan and our remaining directors own a minority interest in Labigroup. Under the Agreement, Labigroup committed to purchase a predetermined minimum number of “.travel” domain names on a bulk basis from an accredited “.travel” registrar of its own choosing and to establish a predetermined minimum number of related “.travel” websites. As consideration for the “.travel” domain names to be purchased under the Agreement, Labigroup agreed to pay certain fixed fees and make other payments, including but not limited to, an ongoing royalty calculated as a % share of its Net Revenue, as defined in the Agreement, to Tralliance. The Agreement has an initial term which expires September 30, 2010, after which it may be renewed for successive periods of two and three years, respectively. Labigroup has paid Tralliance the sum of $262,500 under the Agreement to date.

This seems like an excellent marketing campaign, which should drum up interest and exposure of the new .TRAVEL TLD. However, there has been some controversy and speculation of insider trading.

As reported in this NamePros discussion, a registrant going by the name of “Labitrav” (assumed to be Labigroup’s Michael Egan) claimed the domain Tours.travel on December 20th, 1 day before the public registration launch. (See: WHOIS record for “Tours.travel”)

Updates will be posted as this story unfolds.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
AQDN.com

About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.