Last year, ICANN the not for profit organisation that coordinates the global Internet’s systems said “it would take applications for new domain names to foster growth and competition online.” One company owning a domain suffix could potentially wipe out the online presence of their competitors. It suggests more a monopolization of suffix names rather than the growth and competition predicted by ICANN.
The commonly used .com suffix provides open competition as you only have to purchase the domain. If there is an online cultural shift to use these new suffixes then companies may be pushed out of the online market by a competitor who holds the rights to that suffix. These outcasts may have to remain on the .com or their region specific suffix to continue to do business online.
An impartial body could be set up to regulate the distribution of the new suffixes. For example if there was an apple suffix, Microsoft could in theory register a website called www.microsoft.apple which would be no use to anyone. I feel that there would have to be an independent body that controls the suffixes and distributes them on an individual application basis. The alternative is to allow companies to buy a suffix outright with the risk of eliminating their competitors.
Amazon has applied to gain control of 76 suffix names, one of them being .book. For example imagine a local bookshop called Easy Read that also runs its own website. If one day they decided they wanted to call their website www.easyread.book they would have to gain Amazon’s permission to use the suffix .book. This would result in most likely an extra cost to Easy Read that would not have existed if the .book suffix was regulated in the same way .com and .co.uk is. The cost to Easy Read would depend on how much Amazon considered them a threat.
There are clearly commercial ethics involved in how ICANN deals with the potential problems that will be created with these new domain suffixes. They are however charging a whopping £117,401 ($185,000) per application. ICANN has received 2000 new web suffix applications and if you do the math it works out at £234,802,000 ($369,601,828) in total.
Google tops the list of suffix applications with 101 of the 2000. Meaning Google has spent in the region of $18.7 million on the application process to gain control of these suffix names. Some of these names include .mom, .dad and .kid.
Click Here to view the complete list of new domain name suffix proposals and find out if your business could be affected by these new domain name suffixes.