ICANN’s New Top Level Domains Spark Hot Competition

by T+B Blog Team on February 18, 2014

The online domain world is set to further expand this year, seeing approximately 1,000 new domain naming options coming to the global marketplace against just 22 extensions that made it to the web in 2013. The arrival of so many generic top-level domains (gTLDs) is bound to open limitless possibilities for brands, cities, and businesses vying to further strengthen their position in the digital space. The new domains are already up for grabs and we can see many applying for the new suffixes. It will only take little time to find who will be the losers and who will be the winners in this heated competition, Ciaran McEvoy comments in an article for Investors’ Business Daily.

The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the body in charge of domain name management, now has .bmw from carmaker BMW among its applications. The Vatican is seeking control of .catholic, while Apple has requested the .apple suffix. The Boston Globe newspaper wants to have .boston as the last portion of its Internet address and the cities of London and New York are set to have their own domain names as well. Google has made a striking 102 applications for domain names and Amazon has applied for 76 top-level domains, among which are .music, .book, and .shop.

But major carmakers, large cities, and tech firms are not the only ones looking to make use of the new virtual opportunities; one of the most active bidders is Washington-based Donuts, which was set up for the purpose of buying new domain names. The $100 million firm has filed for over 300 gTLDs, ranging from .poker to .pets and .guru. You can keep up on all of the latest gTLD updates in our weekly blog posts.

So far, ICANN has been sent almost 2,000 applications from 1,000 different entities, of which 40% have been contested, meaning that more than one request has been submitted for the same name. Some of the conflicts will be resolved through auctions, while others will be settled through mutual agreements between the parties. What is sure is that each entity involved in this domain name fight will seek to get what it wants, be it profit or to simply block others from using certain domains.

Is one of your brands vying for a new gTLD? Post your comments below.

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