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Amazon Seeks .Book Domain, Draws Publishers’ Ire

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Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) seeks to control several book-related top-level domain names, and publishers aren’t too happy about it. Two industry groups and one of the company’s competitors have raised objections to the company’s application to control the domains “.author,” “.book” and “.read” domain names, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon Seeks .Book Domain, Draws Publishers' Ire

The Association of American Publishers and the Authors Guild say that allowing Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) to control these top-level domain names threatens competition because they are too “generic” to be under one company’s control. Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) has joined with the organizations in objecting to Amazon’s registration of the names.

The bookseller and the two publishing organizations have filed an official objection with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, also known as ICANN. The corporation is a non-profit organization that’s in charge of domain names throughout the world.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) didn’t comment directly on the objections, although a corporate counsel representative sent a letter to ICANN saying that it isn’t attempting to stifle competition by registering the domain names.

ICANN began a process last year of enabling certain organizations to be registries for the top-level domains of the Internet, which include the well-known “.com,” “.gov,” and other domains. Various companies, individuals, and agencies have all applied to be in charge of various domains.

Most applicants are applying for control of the domains with the goal of eventually being able to sell extensions of the domain at a profit. For example, Amazon could make a profit off of domains like BookName.read, etc., where “BookName” is the name of a new book coming out. However, one of the issues publishers are taking with Amazon’s registration requests involves details included with the company’s applications, which make it appear as if the company might not sell extensions of them.

At this point there are many competitors for the most popular domain names. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) have all applied to control the same top-level domains.

In addition to the three domain names being questioned, Amazon has also applied for numerous others, like “.app,” “.wow” and “.movie.

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