auctions and comparative selection, to encourage broader discussion. In contrast, for those resources that 
are already in existence, and precisely defined, firmer advice can be proffered. 
On balance, where scarcity exists the economic arguments favour the use of auctions in some form, in 
relation to the goals set by ICANN for allocation procedures. They are particularly strong in relation to 
allocation decisions related to existing names and where a `tie breaker' is needed during a comparative 
selection procedure for a new name. In all cases where auctions are used, the best elements of comparative 
selection procedures could still be incorporated at a pre qualification stage using straightforward, 
transparent, and objective procedures that preserve the stability of the Internet. Pre qualification 
procedures, prior to the use of auctions, as a final allocative step for new names, could deal with concerns 
that a standalone auction might otherwise engender among the Internet community. The choice to be made 
by ICANN does not have to be purely one process or another but could be a combination of auctions and 
pre qualification. 
Most concerns that might apply to using auctions as a tool to allocate new gTLDs do not apply to any 
decision on the future allocation of existing gTLDs. For example, there seem to be few, if any, obstacles to 
ICANN auctioning the right to be the registry responsible for 
as an adjunct to pre qualification 
Indeed, there would be clear and demonstrable benefits in meeting the objectives set by 
ICANN. An auction would provide a transparent and verifiable mechanism for the market to value 
appropriately and avoid the pitfalls associated with comparative selection. Such an auction could also act 
as a practical demonstration, for auctions, in relation to other allocative choices as and when they arise. 
A further issue ICANN could consider is whether the division between registry and registrar needs to 
apply to relatively small sponsored top level domains. One option would be to create a threshold number of 
registrations below which registries would have the option to sell second level domains, direct to their 
community, with appropriate safeguards. An example would be to allow 
 to market directly to 
their community. 



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