Recently, I had the pleasure of brokering the sale of Pay.com.au for an Australian record price of $168,000 (for a 3 Letter domain). I genuinely believe this was a bargain for the buyers.
The buyers are very savvy operators, and unlike many small businesses, were aware of the possibility of direct registration being introduced next year. i.e. Pay.au becoming available. They asked my advice as to what they could do to improve their chances of acquiring this extension.
After I did my research, I saw that there was a long standing registrant of pay.net.au, and an individual who had registered pay.id.au. Fortunately – and perhaps surprisingly, there were no other extensions registered. Tongue in cheek somewhat, I would have thought that the ATO would have registered Pay.gov.au!
Even though the buyers would have been happy with just the com.au (as you can see by the purchase price), they instructed me to try and acquire the net.au (which I did quickly in a win / win transaction). By doing this, they would increase the possibility of being able to get Pay.au (subject to any rights the registrant of Pay.id.au may have).
As it turned out, the registrant of the id.au domain had acquired this after the cut-off date of 4th February 2018 (see screenshot below), and as my clients were the only other registrant possibly in the mix, then this has left them in the box seat (subject of course to the whims of auDA).
If you want to protect your Intellectual Property which includes online brand and identity (domain name), then make it a priority to find out who else may have a possible claim if and when auDA introduces direct registration. And if there are not too many competing extensions, then try (within reason) to increase your odds of acquisition!
Ned O’Meara – 13th September 2019
With auDA’s currently proposed implementation scheme, it is not going to be possible for many com.au holders to do what the buyers of Pay.com.au did. Don’t worry if that is the case! To most businesses, com.au is king in Australia, and always will be – stats bear that out. As at August 2019, there were approximately 3.2 million .au registrations across all extensions, of which com.au has around 2.85 million (about 89%).