auDA is requesting proposals to manage the .au registry backend.
The contract to run registry services for Australia’s 4.2 million .au domain names is up for grabs.
auDA, the organization that manages the .au namespace, issued a request for tender for the new contract that commences in July 2024.
Afilias won the contract from incumbent Neustar in 2018.
auDA originally entered into exclusive negotiations with Neustar to extend that contract but canceled the exclusivity after Neustar announced that it was going private in a transaction led by Golden Gate Capital.
auDA subsequently announced that it was planning to work with contractors to build and manage the .au registry itself. It later changed its mind and said it would outsource registry operations. Nine companies responded to the tender, and Afilias won.
Fast forward to 2023, and Afilias is now part of Identity Digital, and Neustar’s registry services are part of GoDaddy. In other words, the registry landscape has changed a lot since then.
Skimming through the requirements, there doesn’t seem to be any “gotchas” that would keep established registry operators from winning this contract from Identity Digital. However, the incumbent is usually in the driver’s seat, given the complexity of transitioning to a new backend registry service.