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The “.au” era: is it time to lose the “.com”?

The “.au” era: is it time to lose the “.com”?

Published on December 8, 2021 by Selwyn Black and Yue Lucy HanSelwyn Black and Yue Lucy Han

Starting from 24 March 2022, eligible entities will be able to reserve an “.au” domain name (“.au namespace”).

The global pandemic has accelerated the expansion of the digital space, with more and more business entering the metaspace (but that’s for another article). It is unimaginable for most entities (whether corporations, schools, not for profits or individuals) to operate without an online presence.

A simple and memorable domain name is comparable to prime real estate. Therefore, it is great news to hear the launch of the .au namespace in 2022. Entities will have more opportunities to register for a concise, representative, and memorable domain name.

 I have an Australian domain name, how do I make sure I can get an identical “.au” namespace?

 If you act during the Priority Allocation Period, then you can increase your chances of reserving and registering an identical “.au namespace” to your current Australian domain name.

Priority Allocation Process

 The Priority Allocation Process start in 24 March 2022. Eligible Licences (ie. existing registrants namespace. This period will last 6 months.

Non-contested Names

For non-contested names, where there is only one reservation application, then according to the auDA website, the applicant will receive the .au namespace soon after application. Hopefully a more definite timeline will be released close to the launch date.

Contested Names

However, if there are multiple reservation applications, then this becomes a contested name. This occurs when multiple existing registrants hold the same name in different domain namespaces. All these existing registrants will be eligible to reserve an .au namespace, however, only one will be able to register for it. This is dependent on each existing registrant’s priority category.


For example, let’s assume there are three existing registrants with the following name space and domain name creation time:

Based on the priority categories, Entity C and Entity D will not be able to obtain “” as they are both in Category 2, which does not take priority over the Category 1 entities.

The ultimate allocation of “” will depend on negotiation and agreement between Entity A and Entity B as they are both in Category 1.

If no agreement can be reached, then “” will remain reserved until there is only one active reservation left.

After the Priority Allocation Period, then the remaining .au namespace will be registered on a first come first served basis.

What does it mean for you?

 There are a few things to consider:

  • Are you eligible to participate in the Priority Allocation Process?
  • Does it make commercial or strategic sense for you to reserve an .au namespace?
  • Will you be looking for new opportunities in the ‘.au’ era.

We will be able to assist you in your consideration of these questions, especially if your desired .au namespace is a contested name. We can help you negotiate and navigate the new ‘.au’ era.

If you have questions, please contact our office on 1800 059 278 or If you are new to us, please complete our Contact Us Form now, so that one of our experts can contact you with a no charge and no obligation preliminary call to see how we can help your business with legal issues now.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is general information prepared to assist the readers but it is no substitute for advice on particular circumstances.  You should obtain specific legal advice before making a decision and continuing in these circumstances.

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