Help.com.au dropped today and was purchased by The Investment Engine Pty Ltd.
According to ASIC Records, David Warmuz (Owner of Trellian and Drop.com.au) is a previous shareholder of The Investment Engine (33%) (as of last year).
As we all know, there’s only ONE “drop catcher” for Australian domain names now, called “Drop.com.au”, ever since they purchased their competitor Netfleet.com.au for nearly $1 million last November.
Drop clearly have a monopoly over very valuable domain names dropping nearly every day. And their bidding system is blind and no one knows how much Help.com.au sold for today. We don’t know if David (as previous shareholder for The Investment Engine who won the name) helped some of his old mates get the domain? Or perhaps the company purchased the domain fair and square?
And this is the problem.
I’m bringing attention to what happened today, not to attack David Warmuz, but, for the sole purpose of saying what’s clearly on a lot of people’s minds…
For the sake of fair competition and transparency in the domain name industry, someone needs to bring another drop catcher to the market as soon as possible.
As mentioned above, the company that owns Drop.com.au is Trellian, and, according to Trellian‘s own “brands” page, they currently own and run;
This clearly shows Trellian are “domain investors” and “actively buy and sell and develop” premium domain names.
Which would be fine, if auDA didn’t have Registrar policy rules such as;
The Registrar must not do any of the following:
(a) register any Domain Names for itself on its own behalf unless such registration(s) is/are for its own legitimate use in providing Registrar Services under this Agreement;
(e) be involved in any activity, or permit a Related Entity of the Registrar to be involved in any activity, which involves the acquisition or accumulation of Domain Names which are not connected to the provision of Registrar Services under this Agreement, unless such activity is permitted under a Published Policy; and
(f) do, enable or facilitate any activities that aim to artificially reduce the supply and availability of Domain Names.
David Warmuz has himself admitted on this very website that he is a “Domainer” when he wrote, “As a Domainer…” here.
So how can auDA allow David Warmuz and Trellian (who own and develop many valuable premium domain names) to run our one and only Australian domain name drop catching service and not other Domainers?
Domainers have always been told they’re not allowed to run a drop catcher.
Perhaps it’s time for auDA to quickly change the rules and allow ANYONE to operate a drop catcher service, in the interest of fairness and transparency?
Nothing against David personally, I think he’s a smart and successful business person, BUT… I don’t think Drop.com.au‘s current monopoly over the domain drop catcher market is fair.