An ICANN-commissioned investigation into the fairness of its Community Priority Evaluation process for new gTLDs could wind up before the end of June.
In an update Friday, ICANN also finally revealed who is actually conducting the probe, which has been slammed by affected applicants for being secretive.
A tentative timeline sketched out in the update means applicants for gTLDs including .gay and .music could find their applications closer to release from limbo in just a few weeks.
ICANN revealed that FTI Consulting’s Global Risk and Investigations Practice and Technology Practice have been looking into claims ICANN staff meddled in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s supposedly independent CPE reviews for the last several months.
FTI is reviewing how ICANN staff interacted with the EIU during the CPE processes, how the EIU conducted its research and whether the EIU applied the CPE criteria uniformly across different gTLDs.
ICANN said that FTI finished collected material from ICANN in March and hopes to have all the information it has asked the EIU for by the end of this week.
It could deliver its findings to ICANN two weeks after that, ICANN said.
Presumably, there would be little to prevent ICANN publishing these findings very shortly thereafter.
ICANN has been harangued by some of the applicants for .music, .gay, hotel, .cpa, .llc, .inc, .llp and .merck, all of which have been affected by controversial CPE decisions and have been delayed by the investigation, for months.