Dispute Over .amazon – Two Nation States vs The Ecommerce Giant


Domain Magazine

“At first, I thought I was fighting to save rubber trees, then I thought I was fighting to save the Amazon rainforest. Now I realise I am fighting for humanity.” – Chico Mendes, Brazilian Environmentalist

Much has been said about the dispute over the top-level domain .amazon between the two nations Brazil and Peru and the e-commerce titan Amazon. When ICANN offered new TLDs, Amazon was quick in applying for .amazon but it faced a stiff competition from Brazil and Peru, two nations among the ones through which the river Amazon flows.

They convinced the ICANN GAC (Governmental Advisory Committee) to issue a consensus advice objecting to this issuance of .amazon to amazon.com. In their plea, they stated it was somehow hurtful to the people of the region and maybe sometime in the future they might find a good use for it when it wouldn’t be available. REALLY?

While there have been a lot of reactions to this dispute, majority of them are in favour of Amazon. A popular argument says that if this TLD really was so important to these nations, why didn’t they apply for .amazon themselves, and are only objecting now after Amazon has made its interest known.  Another fair observation is that if amazon controls .amazon, it will surely lead to an increased awareness about the importance of the new TLDs (what’s on the right side of the dot.)

While talking to fellow industry folks, I found that even though most shared the above sentiments. However, there were also folks who felt that this is a strategy to control the internet by top 4 or 5 companies. Unlike the more popular extensions like .com where people are free to register what they want, these new extensions will be under the absolute control of these corporates who can decide whether to allow someone to register it on their TLD.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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By Animesh Agarwal

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