Among the sea of domains, 21 are the top-level, such as “.com” and “.org.” Google (GOOG) and Amazon led the so-called Internet land grab, each filing applications for dozens of new domains, including “.android” and “.blog” from Google and “.book.” from Amazon. Both tech giants laid claim to the “.app” suffix.
ICANN will now decide which applications to approve, and will decide who should be the rightful owner of domain names contested by multiple applicants, Mercury News said.
Many big names in the tech world appeared to be content with the current system — Cupertino tech giant Apple (AAPL) did little more than file an uncontested claim for “.apple”.
Interestingly, neither of the two social media giants—Facebook and Twitter—filed for a suffix.
“This is an historic day for the Internet and the two billion people around the world that depend on it,” ICANN president and CEO Rod Beckstrom said at a press conference in London unveiling the list, AFP reported.
But critics say it’s a craven commercial move that will mostly benefit large corporations by, in effect, privatizing the Internet. Applications cost $185,000 each and came with a 250-page registration form, which may have been too much for smaller companies or individuals to handle.
“Our concern is that this could lead to more Facebook-style walled gardens as big brands seek to keep you in their own areas of the Internet,” Stephen Ewart, a British domain-name registry offical, told Reuters.
ICANN’s approval process is expected to take about 18 months, and the new suffixes will likely be activated in 2013.