In mid-2013 the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers plans to release 1,400 new suffix Website domain names through an auction. This is a major deal since there hasn’t been a major expansion of domain names since 2004. Amazon, Google and a small company in Bellevue Washington called Donuts are very interested in this expansion because they believe that they will have an opportunity to get some of these addresses and be able to license them for a huge profit.
In 2010 an offshore holding company called Clover Holdings, based on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, paid $13 million for the rights to sex.com, according to Kieren McCarthy, author of a book about the sale (Miller). Amazon and Google are both looking for suffixes that go along with what they sell on their websites. These requests must go to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (Icann), a Los Angeles-based nonprofit that has coordinated the Internet addressing system since the U.S. government privatized that responsibility more than a decade ago (Miller). There is a charge of $185,000 for Icann to just look at each application. Once the screening is completed the suffix goes to the highest bidder.
Cybersquatting is a main concern for those that purchase the new suffixes. According to Miller cybersquatting is the purchase of domains either to block a competitor from using them or to create a look-alike website which is designed to fool consumers and undercut a rival’s business. Cybersquatting is illegal in the United States on the trademark laws, but they are often deferred to Icaan-recoginized international tribunals because most cases involve those from other countries.
Donuts currently is the most prolific bidder for these new domains, they have already spent more than $56 million on applications for 307 of these new suffixes, Google has applied for 99 new suffixes and Amazon applied for 76. John Nevett, Donuts executive vice president for corporate affairs states that it wants to build its own central clearinghouse for…