Skip to main content

Amazon clashes with Latin American countries over domain names

In 2011, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) voted to open up the Internet's generic top-level domain (gTLD) system to a wide range of new applicants, which could change the very face of the web for decades to come.

This week, the first of the gTLDs were revealed, and the new entrants into the architecture of the web are breaking new ground by becoming the first non-Latin character gTLDs ever to be approved.

Of note is an effort to block online retail giant Amazon's efforts to secure the .Amazon domain.

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, ICANN's Governmental Advisory Committee advised against allowing the Seattle-based e-commerce giant to take over the name due to protests from Latin American countries affiliated with the Amazon River.

However, the rights to the name are still up for an additional vote, so Amazon yet has a chance to secure the name, which would give it a new and more powerful web presence, in terms of branding and accessibility.

ICANN's announcement, meanwhile, was made at the start of this week's ICANN meeting in Durban, South Africa. The new gTLDs include the Chinese characters for the word "game," the Cyrillic characters for the Russian words meaning "online" and "web site," and the Arabic characters for the word "web."

"Once these and other IDN strings are delegated and become operational, it will mark the first time that people will be able to access and type in a website address for generic Top-Level Domains in their native language," ICANN said in a statement. "This will expand the Internet not just in the number of generic Top-Level Domains available, but also in the overall accessibility for all people across the globe."

ICANN began accepting applications for the new gTLDs last year, and so far hundreds of entities have stepped forward to make a bid for an influential name, despite the steep $185,000 (£121,000) application fee.

28 complaints were issued against Amazon's bids for a number of domain names last year too.