After 7 Years, ICANN Board Approves Amazon’s .AMAZON Application

ICANN has moved a step closer to delegating the .amazon top-level domain to Amazon, the online ecommerce company, after 7 years of negotiations with South American governments, who have been lobbying against the approval, saying “seven years is sufficient time for the parties to reach a reasonable resolution, and in the interest of continued fairness of all parties, it is now time to move forward.”

At their board meeting on 15 May, the board directed ICANN “to continue processing of the .AMAZON applications according to the policies and procedures of the New gTLD Program. This includes the publication of the Public Interest Commitments (PICs), as proposed by the Amazon corporation, for a 30-day public comment period, as per the established procedures of the New gTLD program.”

The path to gain approval has been a long and tortuous one for the ecommerce company and ended up with them making a number of concessions to the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO) member states – Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela – in an attempt to come to a solution that could benefit both parties. On 17 April the ecommerce company made a proposal that ICANN has now found acceptable.

The April 2019 proposal included commitments by Amazon including the creation of a joint Steering Committee as well as to:

  • “Not use as domain names in each .AMAZON TLD those terms that have a primary and well-recognized significance to the culture and heritage of the Amazonia region;
  • Provide nine domain names in each .AMAZON TLD to be used for non-commercial purposes by ACTO and its member states to enhance the visibility of the region; and
  • Block from all use up to 1500 domain names in each .AMAZON TLD that have a primary and well recognized significance to the culture and heritage of the Amazonia region”.

“The Amazon corporation also notes in its proposal that its TLDs would be ‘highly-restricted .BRANDs’ and that ‘Amazon would only register domain names that align with its global brand strategy so that the .AMAZON TLDs are strongly affiliated with the reputation of the Amazon brand, which should eliminate concerns of ACTO and its member states that third parties will abusively use the TLDs.’”

“Finally, the Amazon corporation stated that it would host the nine domain names noted above and would make use of ‘proactive security controls paired with reactive and detective controls [to offer] the most comprehensive approach to security’ related to the ‘provisioning and configuration of .AMAZON domains.’”

In their board meeting minutes, it’s noted “the Board has determined that the Amazon corporation proposal is not inconsistent with GAC advice and that there is no public policy reason for why the .AMAZON applications should not be allowed to proceed in the New gTLD Program.”

The board meeting minutes are here: