Amazon region countries reject $5 million gift card but ICANN pushes forward to help Amazon.com get .Amazon top level domain name.
Amazon.com’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) long battle to get rights to run the .Amazon top level domain name might still pay off, but countries that are part of the Amazon region continue to play hardball.
On Sunday, ICANN’s board resolved to have ICANN continue serve as a sort of mediator between countries such as Brazil and Peru and the United States’ second most valuable company. It wants ICANN to come back with a proposal that will allow the region and company to essentially share the top level domain.
Amazon.com applied to run the .amazon domain name as part of the 2014 top level domain name expansion. It was one of 76 domains the company applied for. Some of the domains were generic in nature, and others were branded domains like .AWS.
Brazil and Peru filed an “early warning” through the ICANN Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) saying that it was opposed to the application for .Amazon. It argued:
[g]ranting exclusive rights to this specific gTLD to a private company would prevent the use of this domain for the purposes of public interest related to the protection, promotion and awareness raising on issues related to the Amazon biome. It would also hinder the possibility of use of this domain to congregate web pages related to the population inhabiting that geographical region.
(No mention was made to how the region has been hurt by the ecommerce company owning Amazon.com.)
The GAC provided official advice to ICANN that it didn’t approve of the .Amazon domain application, and ICANN rejected Amazon.com’s application as a result.
Amazon.com then tried to work with the member states of the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO). Its negotiations failed, and Amazon.com filed for Independent Review of the decision to reject its application. It won that review.
Since then, the company has continued to work with the ACTO to come up with a solution that makes them it comfortable. Its latest proposal includes reserving domains the ACTO would like held back, helping ACTO create a website to promote the region (and funding it), and giving a big, fat $5 million gift card to ACTO member states.
Still, no dice.
The board now wants ICANN to present it with a proposal that will let Amazon.com use the domain for its business purposes but appease ACTO members.
In a battle of hard-headed governments vs. the U.S.’s second biggest company, delay is the big winner.