The government of France is asking for bids to run .FR (in French), the ccTLD of France.
The incumbent, AFNIC, is the odds-on favorite to win, but there have been grumblings for a while from its customers, especially in francophone Africa and the Caribbean. AFNIC recently lost the business of .HT (Haiti) to scrappy CoCCA, the open-source co-operative ccTLD registry. CoCCA seems to be giving AFNIC quite a bit of trouble these days: the mere mention of them caused neck veins to bulge on the AFNIC rep I met at the Paris ICANN meeting.
The winner of the tender offer will get .FR and all of France’s colonial domains in the package. It’s not clear what would happen to the independent French-speaking ccTLDs who have contracted with AFNIC.
The actual text of the rebid is here. (PDF)
A smart French businessman with a taste for dealing with the French government could do a lot worse than making a deal with CoCCA and making this a competitive bid.