Publishers have voiced their opposition to Amazon’s applications for gTLDs such as .book, .read and .author, on the basis that the use of such names would be monopolistic.
Amazon’s ICANN application clearly seeks to monopolise the .book domain, stating that it would “provide a unique and dedicated platform for Amazon while simultaneously protecting … its brand”, noting that there would be “no resellers in .book and no market in .book domains [since] Amazon will strictly control the use”.
TG Daily has reported that the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Authors Guild President Scott Turow have written opposition letters to ICANN. Turow wrote: “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.”
The APP claims that such control would be in direct conflict with ICANN’s aims, stating in its letter: “From inception, the introduction of new gTLDs has been promoted as a means to increase competition, add consumer choice, support Internet freedom, expand market differentiation and diversify service providers. How would handing over ownership of a domain string to any one single private company, such as a retailer, for its own business goals support that public service mission?”
Barnes & Noble and the European and International Booksellers Federation, amongst others, have lodged similar complaints.