Latin American countries have succeeded for now in blocking Amazon from claiming “.amazon” as a new domain name.
A committee of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which governs the process by which new global top-level domains are approved, recommended this week that .amazon not be approved.
Five countries whose geography is partly determined by the mighty Amazon River — Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay – had petitioned ICANN to reject Amazon’s proposal.
At a meeting of ICANN at Durban, South Africa, the organization is reviewing a massive proposed expansion of Internet addresses, which would include the ability of countries, companies and other organizations to use their names as global top-level domains, such as .org,.edu and .com.
“In particular ‘.amazon’ is a geographic name that represents important territories of some of our countries, which have relevant communities, with their own culture and identity directly connected with the name,” the letter from the South American countries stated. “Beyond the specifics, this should also be understood as a matter of principle.”
The countries also objected to an application from the outdoor clothes company Patagonia to use its name as a domain suffix. The company then withdrew its application before the Durban meeting.
The decision on .amazon, by ICANN’s Governmental Advisory Committee could still be overruled by the organization’s board, but that rarely happens in practice.
“We’re reviewing the G.A.C. advice and we look forward to working with ICANN and other stakeholders to resolve these issues as the process moves forward,” Amazon said in a statement.
The company is pursuing approval for some 80 new top-line domain names, including “.kindle,” “.wow” and “.shop.”