Publishers Howl as Amazon Seeks .Book Domain

Firm wants to snap up dozens of new names

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 11, 2013 12:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – A big expansion of Internet domain name suffixes is on the way and publishing industry groups are alarmed by Amazon.com's plans to get in on the action, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company is seeking to snap up names including ".book," ".author" and ".read," a move that critics argue would unfairly stifle competition. "Placing such generic domains in private hands is plainly anticompetitive," Authors Guild president Scott Turow wrote to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. "The potential for abuse seems limitless."

Amazon says its quest for dozens of domain names is part of an effort to find innovative ways to "surprise and delight our customers," not a move to crush the competition. "Why should a company be able to own 'widget.com' and not '.widget'?" a company lawyer wrote to ICANN. "There is no evidence that past 'closed' domains have led to any market power." ICANN says it doesn't comment on specific applications, but its initial findings on a range of domain name applications will be made public later this month.

Amazon would move a few inches closer to a monopoly in the book business if it gets the domain names it is seeking, Turow says.
Amazon "would move a few inches closer to a monopoly in the book business" if it gets the domain names it is seeking, Turow says.   (AP Photo/Scott Sady)
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