.Amazon Internet Domain Dispute to Extend Into 2018


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Amazon.com Inc. may have to wait until at least the spring of 2018 to find out whether it can operate the .amazon internet domain.  Meanwhile, the e-commerce giant is trying to compromise with the government representatives who argue it shouldn’t operate the domain due to the name’s geographic ties.  

The board of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), the nonprofit organization that coordinates internet addresses, Oct. 29 asked its government advisors to provide any new information they have concerning their advice that Amazon’s application shouldn’t proceed. The board gave the advisors, called the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC), a deadline of March 15, 2018, the last day of ICANN’s 61st public meeting.

Amazon has been fighting for the .amazon domain since the ICANN board denied its application in 2014 based on the GAC’s advice. An independent review panel ordered the board in July to promptly reevaluate Amazon’s application.

Amazon met with the GAC Oct. 29 during ICANN’s 60th public meeting in Abu Dhabi.  The company proposed that it would include in its domain registry agreement a public interest commitment to block culturally sensitive domain names, such as rainforest.amazon. Amazon would also commit to regularly consulting with governments to identify culturally sensitive terms, Amazon Senior Corporate Counsel Kristina Rosette said.

A representative from Peru, one of the leading opponents of Amazon’s application, criticized the company’s proposal. She said at the meeting that if Amazon and GAC were to enter into an agreement, the governments would be giving Amazon permission to use certain words as domain names rather than letting Amazon select certain words to block.

A representative from Brazil said he was open to reaching a compromise.