ICANN, the organization that assigns names for websites, will unveil hundreds of new top level domains on June 13 that join familiar suffixes like “.com” or “.org”
It appears that some of the names will be run by Google. In a blog post this afternoon, the company said it has applied to control not just “.google” or “.youtube” but a series of other names as well.
The search giant revealed that it has designs on names “related to its core business” like “.docs” as well as ones with “interesting and creative potential” like “.lol.”
What this means in practice is that sometime next year Google will be in a position to use and sell websites like, say, “catsonskateboards.youtube” or “antitrust.lol.”
Domains gone wild
Google is one of about 1,300 reported companies who are applying for the right to run domain name registries. Although the applications will be officially revealed next month, some of them like “.vegas” and “.rugby” have been named already. A company called Directi Group disclosed today that it has applied for .web, .bank, .loans, .insurance, .law, .shop, .app, .website, .click, .online, .music, .hotel .doctor, .baby and .shop.
ICANN has portrayed the domain names sales as a “land rush” but the process has been fiercely criticized by US companies who have described it instead as a “shakedown.” The companies complain they will be forced to shell out more money to buy the names before squatters do. Right now, many companies spend hundreds of dollars to defensively register domains they do not need like “.info”, “.biz” and “.xxx.”
The Association of National Advertisers has demanded ICANN create a “Do Not Sell” registry but the body has ignored the request. ICANN, whose former members have been accused of brazen self-dealing, will make hundreds of millions from the sales and plans to use half of it for a legal war-chest.
(Image by Andreas Meyer via Shutterstock)
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