ICANN Says Amazon Can’t Own .Amazon Domain NameBy: Zach Walton - July 18, 2013
ICANN finally wrapped up the application process for new generic top level domain names last year. The results of which are still far from over, however, as the nonprofit now has to sort through all the applications and decide who to award the new gTLDs to. Amazon and Google both applied for a lot of domains, but Amazon’s request for its namesake has already been rejected.
The Wall Street Journal reports that ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee has rejected Amazon’s request for the .amazon gTLD. The rejection stems from the Committee saying its unfair for Amazon to control the gTLD. Some assume that this means South American countries objected to Amazon owning the gTLD for the river that runs through most of the continent.
For many in the world, however, Amazon no longer refers to a river, but rather the multinational online retailer. With the .amazon gTLD, the retailer could offer “a unique and dedicated platform for Amazon.” Some potential examples could be music.amazon or movies.amazon. With those examples, you can see why Amazon would love to control the gTLD.
Of course, trying to own the gTLD for a geographic location probably wasn’t going to work out in Amazon’s favor. South American countries would obviously want to use the .amazon gTLD for their own purposes, whether it be for tourism or conservation Web sites. Amazon might still be able to use the .amazon gTLD, but it won’t be able to exclusively own it.
So, where does this leave other companies that sought to own their namesake in gTLD form? Well, Google isn’t exactly a geographic location, and nobody else can really claim to own the Google name. As far as I’m concerned, Google will probably be granted the .google domain name.
It’s going to be interesting to see if Apple meets a similar fate to Amazon. It only applied for one gTLD – .apple. Like Amazon, the word apple isn’t exclusive to the company. I find it hard to believe that ICANN would hand Apple exclusive control of the .apple gTLD, but it’s possible.
Speaking of which, Amazon isn’t entirely out of the game just yet in regards to the .amazon gTLD. ICANN can still vote to approve Amazon’s request for the gTLD, but the Wall Street Journal notes that its rare for the nonprofit to go against the rulings of its Governmental Advisory Committee.