A technology coalition focused on competition issues tied to mobile and online search has filed an objection to Google Inc.’s application with the International Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to have control over certain generic top level domains (gTLDs).
“Google has already established a dominant position in the search market – with control of 79 per cent of queries in the U.S. and more than 90 per cent market share of Europe,” FairSearch said in a statement yesterday. “It does not need more help in warding off potential competitors by giving it control over who gets access to new domain names.”
The organization also pointed out the search engine could gain further advantage over other companies on the Internets as it is possible that Google can access data moving through other Web sites who ask to register under a gTLD owned by Google.
Last summer, ICANN invited organizations to apply to acquire and control the administration of new generic top level domain names.
The new generic top level domains reflect the content of sites that bear them and provide users with information about the site’s purpose based on its Web address, according to FairSearch.
“If Google is given control over the new .map and .fly gTLDs, Google will have power to decide which of its mapping and flight booking competitors will have access to important new supports on the Internet that signals to users whether a Web site content is credible and relevant to their interest,” the group said.
Earlier this month, Google wrote ICANN saying that new top level domains “do not convey a competitive advantage to applicants.”
“Much of the discussion surrounding competition has to do with whether new gTLDs or rather specific strings have an inherent value which applicants can somehow create competitive advantage,” Google said. “We know from previous expansion rounds that this is not so.”
The search company said Internet users actually tend to use top-level domain names they are already comfortable with in their searches such as .com.
Google included an excerpt from ICANN’s own study which states: “…past gTLD introductions have not seriously impacted .com’s dominance. For commercial applications, .com has remained dominant even as new gTLDs such as .biz and .info have been added. A broad look at the evidence to date suggest that other gTLDs provide little competition for .com as those gTLDs have neither attracted a large number of domains or shown any signs of catching up with .com.”
This, of course, has not stopped companies, including Google from trying.
Google, according to the New York Times, applied for the control of 100 names including: .google, .youtube, .goog, .plus, .new, .fly, .eat, .search, .map, and .love.
Microsoft applied for .docs and .live. Among other names, Amazon applied for .wow, .search, .shop, .free, .map, .music, .you, .talk, and .mail.
Apple Inc. applied for .apple and Johnson & Johnson applied for .baby, the New York Times said.