US Consumer Group Slams Google And Amazon gTLD Applications; Says Privatising The Web

Consumer Watchdog have written to US senators urging them to block attempts by Google and Amazon to buy control of huge swaths of the internet through their applications for large numbers of new generic Top Level Domains.

In a letter to Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D -W.VA), chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, John M. Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project director wrote:
If these applications are granted, large parts of the Internet would be privatised. It is one thing to own a domain associated with your brand, but it is a huge problem to take control of generic strings. Both Google and Amazon are already dominant players on the internet. Allowing them further control by buying generic domain strings would threaten the free and open Internet that consumers rely upon.

The Consumer Watchdog letter states the organisation is concerned “over the blatant attempts by Google and Amazon to buy control of huge swaths of the internet.”

It’s not that Consumer Watchdog is opposed to new gTLDs. In the letter they can see the sense in organisations applying for gTLDs related to their brands.

The organisation believes “the plans by Google and Amazon are extremely problematic” and they are calling on Rockerfeller “to help prevent their implementation. 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 make sense for Amazon to acquire .Amazon or .Kindle. But, that is not what is happening.

The letter goes on to say:
Google has ponied up $18.7 million 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, .like, .game, and .shop.

If these applications are granted, large parts of the Internet would be privatized. It is one thing to own a domain associated with your brand, but it is a huge problem to take control of generic strings. Both Google and Amazon are already dominant players on the Internet. Allowing them further control by buying generic domain strings would threaten the free and open internet that consumers rely upon. Consumer Watchdog urges you to do all that you can to thwart these outrageous efforts and ensure that the Internet continues its vibrant growth while serving the interests of all of its users.

Consumer Watchdog’s letter is available here: www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrrockefeller091912.pdf