Google pays dearly for rights to control .App domain name.
Google has won the rights to operate the .App top level domain name after paying what may be a record-breaking price for a top level domain name.
13 companies applied to run the .app domain name, and 12 of them were still in the running when the ICANN auction started yesterday. The auction was so heated that it continued today, with the final price ending at $25,001,000.
Google beat out other big brands, such as Amazon.com, for the domain name. It also faced off with portfolio new top level domain name applicants such as Minds + Machines, Radix and Famous Four Media.
The company will now be able to offer domain names ending in .app. It’s a natural fit with the company’s Google Play service.
With the domain in hand, it’s possible Google can limit registrations to companies that have an app in Google Play, or use the domains to point directly to app listings in the store. However, its application suggests that it will allow the domain name to be more universally used:
The mission of the proposed gTLD, .app, is to provide a dedicated domain space for application developers. The term “app” is associated with a wide variety of applications, including mobile applications, web- and browser-based applications, cloud-hosted applications and even desktop applications. Charleston Road Registry expects uses of the gTLD will include a wide variety of uses across all of these types of applications, not limited to any specific platform or provider. The proposed gTLD will enhance consumer choice by providing new availability in the second-level domain space in which application developers can deliver new content and offerings. It also creates new layers of organization on the Internet and signals the kind of content available in the domain.
Still, I imagine it will incorporate .app into its products and service.
3 bidders were willing to pay at least $19.4 million for the domain, and two bidders were in the running in the last round that started at $24.3 million.
Google has shown a lot of restraint in top level domain name auctions to date, only winning a handful. It doesn’t surprise me that the company went all out for .app, given that it’s other auction wins are related to its core products (e.g. .drive, .docs).
The highest price paid in a public new TLD auction before today was $6.8 million, but several domain names have reportedly sold for between $10-$20 million in private auctions.