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New Domain Submissions

1930 submissions for about 1400 new generic top level domain (gTLD) extensions were received by ICANN (the domain name regulator) when applications closed in June, 2012. A countless number of new, valuable and high potential domain names such as,,, Buy.home, and will be created. From thin air.

Up to a dozen applications have been received for some of the most sought after categories. For example .home has 11 applicants. (230 domain names have more than one applicant — for which there are a total of 751 applications.) These will be resolved via auctions or prior private negotiations.

A majority of the world's most famous corporations have applied for their own dot brand string, such as .cisco. However, there are also some notable and surprising omissions.

You can see ICANN's official list of applications here.

ICANN Closed gTLDs Forum

In March 2013 ICANN launched a forum offering the opportunity to comment on or object to the proposed closed registry domain extensions. More than 250 posts were made by a diverse range of individuals, organizations and corporations. You can examine all the original comments here.

SuperMonopolies has published representative excerpts from about 100 of the objections to the closed gTLDs on six pages beginning with ICANN Forum 1.

The Petition

In early 2013 a petition was launched giving everyone the opportunity to express their opinion about the monopolistic attempts to obtain exclusive ownership of important generic word domains. There is more info about the petition here. The graphic below takes you directly to the petition.

petition graphic

The Impact

Opinion is mixed regarding the impact of the coming wave of new domain names. They range from comments like "just a small blip on the radar" (from respected domain industry blog DomainNameWire) to warnings of the risks of mega domain monopolies being created as described on this website.

Consider this opinion from Charles Arthur in The Guardian:

"Those put in charge of allotting such domains will have complete power over whether a company or individual can apply for a website or domain name within them – so that if Amazon was to control .book, it could deny a rival such as Waterstones the chance to create"

Extrapolating from that, Amazon® may soon exclusively own every single .book domain, such as:,,,,,,,,,,, and even and

Will this result in fair competitive global commerce? Or will we see the rise of super monopolies? You decide. This website is a hypothetical work-in-progress. New gTLDs List has published an invaluable index of the new domain applications. (Most of the info about closed registries is contained in Applicant Question 18.)


The new gTLD applications are undergoing evaluation and consideration of comments & objections. Single applicant strings and those without major objections will likely be deployed in 2013. The entire rollout could take up to two years to complete. ICANN's website has periodical updates:

"December/January: Additional Program Phases

"An application passing the initial valuation and faces no objections will be eligible to proceed to pre-delegation. Eventually the string will be live and reachable on the Internet as a TLD. However, some applications will be subject to special processes depending on the circumstances. For example, if more than one party has applied to operate the same TLD (a circumstance referred to as string contention), attempts to resolve the contention begin. (See Applicant Guidebook Module 4 for details.)

"The New gTLD Program forecasts a busy 2012. Some new gTLDs will clear the process and be ready for delegation in early 2013. Other new gTLDs will have a longer path."

ICANN gTLD launch update.

For info about the unbelievable, extraordinary and prohibitive cost of lodging an official objection as referred to by ICANN above, visit the Objections page.

New TLD Program Summary

The website (a sister site of SuperMonopolies) provides a concise summary of the ambitious expansion of the domain name system scheduled to commence at the end of 2013. For more comprehensive and official information, visit ICANN's website as mentioned in the glossary below.


ICANN. Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. The organization is authorized by the US Department of Commerce to regulate the domain name system on the internet. Visit the ICANN website.

GAC. Government Advisory Committee. The committee provides policy advice to ICANN particularly on issues of concern to sovereign governments and international law. More info.

GNSO. Generic Names Supporting Organization. The GNSO Council provides gTLD policy development for the ICANN board. More info.

IO. Independent Objector. The role of the Independent Objector is to act solely in the interests of public internet users with regard to the launch of the new gTLDs. The IO is Professor Alain Pellet, a practitioner of law whose experience includes work at the International Court of Justice.

"Acting solely in the best interests of global Internet users, the Independent Objector may lodge Limited Public Interest and Community objections in cases where no other objection is made to an application that the Independent Objector deems to be objectionable." ICANN website.

The IO has launched an official website which details the role's aims and objectives and it clearly indicates that public comment such as that presented here by SuperMonopolies may legitimately be considered:

"...the IO may consider public comments when making an independent assessment whether an objection is warranted. It includes, but is not limited to the comments received and posted on the ICANN Website... The IO may also take into consideration other publicly posted information that can be clearly referenced."

More info about IO procedures can be seen on the Petition page.

DOC. US Department of Commerce.

InterNIC. The InterNIC website is operated by ICANN to provide public info about internet domain registration services. A list of ICANN accredited registrars is listed on this page. InterNIC is a registered service mark of the US Department of Commerce and licensed to ICANN.

DNS. Domain Name System. In a different context, it also refers to domain name servers (as in pointing a domain name to the DNS of a hosting company).

TLD. Top Level Domain. An all encompassing general term for defining domain name categories, but more specifically, the letters on the right side of the dot. Also known as a "string". It also sometimes refers casually to both sides of the dot.

gTLD. Generic Top Level Domain. This refers to the suffix to the right of the dot in a domain, such as ".org" in the domain "". The most popular gTLDs are .com, .net, and .org but there are others such as .mobi, .travel and .info... Until the massive number of new TLDs start rolling out in 2013 there are only 22 gTLDs.

...A "closed gTLD" refers to the operation of a generic dictionary word domain extension such as .store with all domains owned by a single company to the exclusion of all others.

This concept is comprehensively illustrated on the .STORE string page.

SLD. Second Level Domain. Refers to the letters to the immediate left of the dot.

ccTLD. Country Code Top Level Domain. Every country was assigned a ccTLD to be operated under each government's oversight. For example for Britain, .de for Germany and .ca for Canada. There are currently about 220 ccTLDs, one for every country in the world.

NOTE — Some ccTLD strings are widely used as de facto gTLDs because they have a "cool" and relevant meaning, such as .TV (Tuvalu's ccTLD), .CO (Colombia) and .ME (Montenegro).

NOTE — The new city domains will be implemented and administered in a very similar way given that many large cities are much larger than many small countries.

City TLD. Domain strings administered by large cities in a very similar way and with similar intentions to ccTLDs described above, for example .london. Soon, you can expect to see domains like and being implemented.

Brand TLD. Brand Name Top Level Domain. Strings comprised of company brand names such as .google and .canon. These domains will be exclusively owned by the respective companies. See also the dot brands page.

TIP — this is an entirely new and unprecedented category which is likely to have profound implications.

Registry. An administrator of a TLD authorized by ICANN, the regulator. For example, Verisign is the official and sole registry for the .com TLD and Afilias is the registry for .info. Registries basically control what is on the right side of the dot.

Registrar. A domain name seller authorized to do so by various TLD registries. Registrars control the left side of the dot and administer individual domains. For example, GoDaddy is the world's largest registrar. A complete list of about 1,000 accredited registrars can be seen on InterNIC's website.

ICANN has important info about registrars here.

Registrant. A person or company who registers a domain name at a registrar.

Strings. Another term for a domain name used with varying degrees of precision. It probably derives from the hidden numerical strings that underpin the letters that form domain names.

Domaining. This refers to domain name investing and analysis etc. Investors and associated players are called "domainers".





The Next Internet Revolution

In 2013 more than 1,000 new top level domain extensions are scheduled to begin rolling out. Joining the existing ranks of .com, .net and .info will be intriguing new strings like:

.web .search .game .shop .music .app .home .sport

The new gTLD list includes around 650 general dictionary words, not only English ones, and you can expect to see new websites like:

new domain samples

The controversy: many companies have applied to operate "closed registries" on generic words — that is, they want to commandeer dictionary words like "shop" and "book" and by owning every single domain in those extensions (like,,, and etc) gain major monopolistic advantage.

Everyone else will be shut out from these "walled garden" private internets.

Hundreds of brand domains and dozens of city domain categories will also be released. A massive amount of money will be spent promoting these domains which will very likely lead to a major shift in public perception of the domain name system. More info follows.

Sample potential brand domains:

new domain samples

Sample city domains:

new domain samples

Domain Monopolies

There is no limit to the number of new domains which can be created in each dot category and in some cases may number in the millions. The scope of some of the new strings is gigantic, take a look at what the .news string and .store string might look like.

Hundreds and hundreds of dictionary words are being sold off. However...

There is no requirement that successful registry applicants must onsell those domains — and some applicants have already indicated that NONE OF THEIR DOMAINS WILL BE FOR SALE TO THE PUBLIC. This leads to the unintended (?) possibility that super monopolies for the lucky (read wealthiest) winners will be created. The biggest corporations in some industries will undoubtedly acquire the most relevant strings in their fields, dramatically and irrevocably reinforcing their already dominant market positions. This could have dire consequences for fair global online commerce by facilitating the build of giant super monopolies, shutting out their competitors. Fait accompli.

In a disturbing news story headlined " won't offer domain names to the public" (June 14, 2012) Domain Name Wire sounded an early warning:

" intends to only offer domain registrations to itself.

" has applied for 76 top level domain names. But don't expect to be able to register any second level domains underneath them...

"...I'm a bit shocked by the company's plans. It effectively removes a large swathe of the new namespace from public consumption."

("Second level" refers to the words on the left of the dot).

Read an excerpt from one of Amazon's actual applications on the dot store page.

Another story examines ICANN's closed domain registry policy and mentions that the US Department of Justice and their European Union counterparts may become concerned about the possible implications:

"With Amazon applying to operate over 75 new gTLD’s all on a closed basis, including .App, .Books, .Music , .News, .Shop meaning that no one besides Amazon would be able to register any domains under any of the extensions they get.

"Basically Amazon would own the entire right of the dot space for any of the extensions they win...

"It is not outside the realm of possibilities that the DOJ and/or their European Counterparts will take a look at this... Its going to be a problem."

The Domains: "The Top Policy Mistakes ICANN Made In The New gTLD Program" (July 24, 2012)

icann and bridgestone statements about .tires domains

This Infographic displays actual excerpts from ICANN's mission statements and Bridgestone's official application for .tires as a closed gTLD. There is also a whole page about the .tires string here.

BrandShield Domain Research

BrandShield has provided an excellent online analysis of the new domains with a comprehensive chart showing which applications are open and which are closed. This research is an invaluable resource:

BrandShield domain application list.

(Some strings are defined as "restricted" — this simply means that anyone who wants to register a domain under that TLD must first be eligible. For example, one of the applications for the .inc domain extension states that only genuine incorporated companies may apply for a domain.

.INC is a hotly contested string with 11 applications. Five are for open registries, and six for restricted.)

SPECIAL NOTE — SuperMonopolies defines "restricted" as indicating a type of "open" registry, and supports the concept subject to examining each individual application. However, as you can see from a small number of objections on the ICANN closed generic forum, some people define it as indicating "closed" registries. This is confusing.


SPECIAL NOTE: See Glossary at left for explanations of terms like ICANN and TLD.

The previous separation of registries from registrars served the internet very well in the past. The lessons from more than two decades have been learnt. Thousands of domains are traded on the open market every month. Why change a proven policy that promoted reasonably fair commerce?

What right has ICANN to sell off the exclusive rights to English dictionary words? (Not to mention a few in other languages).

How will the Chinese government (and other governments like France) react if a US company for example is granted "ownership" of a Chinese or French dictionary word?

Is there any evidence that ICANN understands the long term consequences of their flawed process? Why are they ignoring the fundamental principles that have underpinned the relatively equitable, fair and open access to assets in the dot com registry to date? (Verisign operates the dot com registry responsibly. If Verisign wishes to acquire a name like for example, they have to pursue it on the open market, the same as everyone else. They didn't pre-own it.)

How does this impending allocation of closed gTLDs fit with the responsibilities, mission statement and aims of the US Department of Commerce, and its so-called oversight of ICANN?

Doesn't the United States government and the Department of Commerce have a commitment against global economic monopolies?

Read about ICANN's claims here.

Brand Domains

Many of the world's top corporations have applied for a brand TLD. There will be a domain name explosion. One of the first to announce their intention was Canon, for example. Others include Google, Apple and Microsoft. This means that in 2014 domains like, and Word.Microsoft will appear on the web.

Of course, comments on this site about "super monopolies" and "domain monopolies" do not apply to brand strings which are completely legitimate. (Except perhaps where the brand name is also a common word.)

I support the legitimacy of the proposed new brand TLDs with a few exceptions. (For example, brands that have usurped pre-existing geographic names for their own marketing such as .patagonia and .amazon which should not be allowed).

Under ICANN's plans, people such as the residents of Brazil will be blocked from owning domains such as (a city on the Amazon River) and countless other towns and regions whose precious history goes back thousands of years.

Similarly, the rollout of exclusive domain strings comprised of generic, dictionary words like .apple should at least be debated. Don't apple farmers have any rights?

At the very least, ICANN needs an independent tribunal to grant rights to a group of apple farmers, for example, to own a relevant .apple domain subject to certain conditions to protect the computer company called Apple.

City Domains

Many major world cities have applied for their own strings. These will operate in the same way as ccTLDs with responsibility and administration handled by the city authorities themselves. So cities such as London, Paris and Sydney will have their own city domain systems. These cities will own names like, and and will be able to utilize or sell them as they please.

These city domains will form part of the commercial infrastructure of the cities.

Again, comments on this site about "monopolies" do not apply to city TLDs. Each city can legitimately decide how to allocate these types of names to local residents, organizations and businesses in the fairest way possible. Let's hope the city authorities strive hard to allocate their domains fairly.

It will be fascinating to see how the City of London awards the domain to one of the numerous applicants. The City has the right to determine this dilemma. It's also a big responsibility for the City.

This is a small problem compared to the governance of the .hotel domain string. There will be many, many applicants for the London.hotel domain. Who will be the registry for the .hotel string? Will the London.hotel domain be available for sale, or will the .hotel registry own every one of the tens of thousands of relevant .hotel domains in existence, thus potentially becoming a global hotel giant almost overnight?

This is the crux of the problem that the world is just waking up to. If a single entity is allowed to own a valuable string like .hotel in exclusivity — massive, sometimes insurmountable advantages will accrue over its competitors.

Here is an edited excerpt from the objection to closed .hotel and .hotels strings by Accor:

"...Among the applicants seeking to obtain a monopoly on a generic term representing or closely linked to their own economic sector, the online travel agencies B.V. and Despegar Online SRL applied for the generic terms HOTELS (and) HOTEL...

"They do not plan to allow the public or members of the hotel community to register domains using the extension.

"This would surely have serious anticompetitive consequences and limit consumer choice across the Internet...

(This will allow) " B.V. and/or Despegar Online SRL to choose which hotels will be offered a domain name under their TLDs and to dictate their commercial conditions to partners and hotel stakeholders."

(See more about Accor's objection on the ICANN Forum 5 page.)

The question is, will ICANN take action over the looming crisis while there is still time?


link to news channels
au time logo — A hypothetical analysis of the new top level domain names — coming in 2013-14.


Contact Dave Tyrer: dave [at]


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