Saturday 18 November 2017

Authors complain over Amazon's 'anti-competitive' web plans

Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos
Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos

By Shane Richmond

AUTHORS and publishers have complained about Amazon's growing dominance of the web in a row over the online bookseller's plan to purchase new internet addresses.

The Association of American Publishers, meanwhile, objected specifially to Amazon's attempt to acquire the .book suffix.

Amazon has not commented on the objections but in a letter to Icann, Stacey King, the online retailer's senior corporate counsel, argued that ownership of these TLDs would not cause problems for the market.

She wrote: "Why should a company be able to own 'widget.com' and not '.widget'?. There is no evidence that past 'closed' domains have led to any market power."

Applications for the new domains opened last year and each application costs $185,000 (£118,000). Amazon will have spent more than $10 million on all of its applications.

Icann will consider objections before allowing anyone to purchase one of the new domains and there will be an arbitration process for TLDs with multiple applicants. If no agreement can be reached between parties, however, an auction process will begin.

Once awarded, each domain will cost at least $25,000 per year to be maintained in Icann's database.

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