Consumer Watchdog Urges ICANN To Reject Google, Amazon Applications To Buy Generic Internet Domains

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SANTA MONICA, CA  – Consumer Watchdog has called on the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to reject applications from Google and Amazon to buy control of huge swaths of the Internet by purchasing new generic Top Level Domains.

In an open letter to the ICANN Board and CEO, GAC Members, Evaluators, the Independent Objector and Members of the ICANN Community, John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director wrote:

“If these applications are granted, large parts of the Internet would be privatized and become walled gardens.”

ICANN plans to expand domain names beyond those that are familiar, like .com, .net and .org. Read Consumer Watchdog’s letter here:

“We believe the plans by Google and Amazon are extremely problematic and call on you to deny their applications. It is one thing to use a Top Level Domain name that is associated with your brand name. In Google’s case that might be .Google or .YouTube or .Android. Similarly it makes sense for Amazon to acquire .Amazon or .Kindle. But, that is not what they are seeking,” wrote Simpson.

Consumer Watchdog noted Google, through its subsidiary Charleston Road Registry Inc., has ponied up $18.7 million in its application to buy 101 domain strings like .eat, .buy, .book, .free, .web, and .family. Amazon is close behind the Internet giant, applying for 76 domain strings including such names as .free,

“Both Google and Amazon are already dominant players on the Internet. Allowing them further control by buying generic domain strings even if they say they would operate some of them in an open manner would threaten the free and open Internet that consumers rely upon. Consumer Watchdog urges you not to grant these outrageous applications but rather ensure that the Internet continues its vibrant growth while serving the interests of all of its users,” the letter concluded.

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John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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