The fight for the coolest domain names has begun with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Named and Numbers (ICANN) receiving 1,930 proposal for new suffixes. From ‘.pizza’ to ‘.space’ bidding for the new domain system range from bizarre to just greedy.
So who’s the greediest of the lot? Well according to a New York Times, Google has spent a whopping $18.7 million trying to get its hands on nearly 100 domain names.
So what all does Google want? The report says,
.google, .youtube, .goog and .plus. It was the only applicant vying for .fly, .new and .eat. But it is going to have to fight Johnson & Johnson for .baby, Microsoft for .docs and .live, and Amazon for 17 top-level domains: .wow, .search, .shop, .drive, .free, .game, .mail, .map, .movie, .music, .play, .shop, .show, .spot, .store, .talk and .you.
Why Google is fighting for .baby or .wow is not really clear but the search giant is in no mood to lose out any sort of domain name that could possibly hold any future ventures. Though Google.baby as a search engine sound absurd. You can view the complete list of domain names bids here.
Apple Inc strangely has just applied for .apple and the bid remains unchallenged. Guess they weren’t planning to launch a portal called .iPad or .iPhone.
The new domain name system was also about ensuring that the web would become more accessible to the non-English speaking netizens. But right now with bigger Internet players like Google, Amazon, etc trying to get their hands on everything that’s available the battle doesn’t seem to be very free or fair.
The benefits of the new system are that companies would be able to create separate websites and separate addresses for each of their products and brands, even as they keep their existing “.com” name. Businesses that joined the Internet late, and found desirable “.com” names taken, would have alternatives.
It’ll take at least a year or two for ICANN to approve the first of these new suffixes. ICANN will review each proposal to make sure that its financial plan is sound and that contingencies exist in case a company goes out of business. Bidders also must pass criminal background checks.
Companies and groups had to pay $185,000 per proposal. Suffixes could potentially generate millions of dollars a year for winning bidders as they sell names ending in some of the approved names. Critics of the expansion include a coalition of business groups worried about protecting their brands in newly created names.
Indian firms haven’t been far behind and have actively bid for domain names as well.
With inputs from AP