Amazon Wins the Battle to Secure its Own Domain
Years ago, in what seems like a different lifetime, the term “Amazon” referred to the giant rainforest in South America. However, over the last two decades, the word adopted a new meaning as the world’s largest internet company. Amazon the company came to life and took the name as their own. This has caused a dispute regarding ownership, as the company applied to use the name as its own domain back in 2012. This would have online shoppers seeing “.amazon” instead of “.com.” After a long seven-year battle, Amazon won the battle to secure their new domain.
Before this, Amazon had been negotiating with the countries in the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) in South America for almost a decade. These countries believed the online retail company should not have the rights to “.amazon” due to the fact that it is an important region in Latin America. The company had presented many offers to the ACTO with little recognition. This included reserving domains, providing funding for a “.amazon” website to promote the geographical region, and giving $5 million in Amazon goods and services.
The debate over the domain increased after the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) took Amazon’s application off the “Will not Proceed” status. Following this, the company proposed new terms in April. This offering promised not to include domain name words with “a primary and well-recognized significance to the culture and heritage of the Amazonia region.” It said they would block the use of up to 1,500 of these sensitive names, adding them onto a list that would be overseen by an advisory committee. The company also offered up to nine domain names for ACTO member states to use for “non-commercial purposes” to “highlight the region’s culture and heritage through sites we host.”
The approval for the domain in Amazon’s favor came from ICANN’s findings that the new compromise terms were acceptable, regardless of the two parties’ ability to reach an amicable agreement. ICANN spoke out saying that it “remained hopeful that additional time could lead to a mutually acceptable solution regarding those applications.”
Following the ICANN decision, Amazon released a statement to Business Insider stating: “Amazon looks forward to working with those governments to implement our proposed Public Interest Commitment to protect the culture and heritage of the peoples of the Amazonia region while allowing Amazon to use the Top-Level Domain in support of our globally recognized brand to surprise and delight our customers.”
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