Amazon has petitioned ICANN for some new top-level domain names such as .book, .author, and .read. These are the new breed of internet extensions that will go live this April and will replace the standard .com and .net we all know and love. Amazon’s plans to dominate the book portion of the new domain names have incurred the wrath of the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers.
In a letter to Icann, Scott Turow, the novelist and president of the Authors Guild, wrote: “We strongly object to ICANN’s plans to sell the exclusive top-level domain rights for generic book-industry terms, such as .book, .author, and .read. Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anti-competitive, allowing already dominant, well-capitalized companies to expand and entrench their market power. The potential for abuse seems limitless.”
Barnes & Noble also filed its own protest in the last few days that said “Amazon would use control of these TLDs to stifle competition in the bookselling and publishing industries.”
The Digital publishing industry is seeing unparalleled revenue growth in the last few years and major publishers, such as Penguin, see 22% of their global book sales stem from digital. Amazon is thought to control at least 60% of the global ebook market and controlling popular brand extensions would be a savvy move. It is thought that the company has spent well over 10 million dollars in filing applications for different top-level domain names in the last year.